My First Burlesque Experience!

I am no stranger to the stage. I started dancing when I was in grade 4, and I soon started doing musical theatre with my dance studio, and then with my school and local theatre companies. In all my years of dancing and performing, burlesque was something I had never tried, until last night.

Most recently, I did Cabaret with the Carleton Musical Theatre Society. I met a bunch of amazing people during that show, and our wonderful Emcee, Sam, asked me and my friend Michelle if we would be interested in performing one of our numbers at a burlesque show. The number is called Two Ladies and it was one of my favourite numbers I got to do in Cabaret. Working with Sam and Michelle is always such a pleasure so I said yes! Unfortunately, Michelle was entered in a singing competition that night (she killed it, naturally), but one of our other marvelous cast mates Bev was willing to fill in.

 

Receptionist by day, burlesque dancer by night?

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I knew of burlesque, and I have a friend who is an amateur burlesque dancer, but I hadn’t really been exposed to much of it. We walked into the venue with our corsets in hand and headed right for the changing room. It was this really small area where all the performers went to change, and you had to be real comfortable because there was no privacy. Luckily for us I didn’t think there was a big issue. We’ve all shared dressing rooms before in theatres, and the rest of the people didn’t seem to pay much attention to what was going on. Alternatively, everyone was just so comfortable with their own bodies to not get giggly or uncomfortable when other people were changing.

When we were ready to go, we went to finish watching the first set. I was honestly amazed by the diversity of the performers, how much confidence they had, and how incredible supportive the entire environment was. There were male and female performers of all ages and body types, and every single one of them put on an amazing performance. These performers were getting up on stage, most of them were taking their clothes off and there was no judgement from anybody in that room. In fact, one girl was making her solo burlesque debut, and after she came off, she was congratulated and embraced by her friends and other performers.

Our number was slightly different from the rest of the numbers, in that we weren’t taking our clothes off (although we were not wearing a ton of clothes to begin with) and it was a musical theatre song that we were singing along to. While we had a few hiccups with not being able to hear the music, everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy our number! We were congratulated by people as we walked back into the dressing room to change and go home. After all, we only performed around 11:30 and that is way past my bedtime.

 

Taking my makeup off at the end of the night. The makeup on my chest is not mine.

I was amazed by the amount of support and community in that room that night. It was incredible to be surrounded by such confident, kind people. While I’m not sure if it’s something I will ever do again (musical theatre is much more my style) I now have a different view of the community and I am definitely grateful for the experience.

Finding Good Friends

I have never considered myself to be the type of person that has a very large friend group. I generally get along with most people, but I have one or two very close friends. In the past few months, this has changed for me. I’m not sure if I have just never met people that I could be this close with, or if I’m just more committed to making friendships work (since they’re much harder as you grow up). Whatever the reason, I am grateful that it’s happened, because I could not imagine going through life without these people.

Whether it’s people I’ve known since kindergarten, for a couple of years, or just a few months, the people I am choosing to spend my time with, whether it’s through phone calls, text messages, hand written letters, or in person, are making me happy and challenging me to be a better friend and person.

I know I can text my friends at any point in the day and any one of them will listen to me complain about my usual problems, or celebrate with me when I have good news to share. I always feel bad for ranting about little problems or bragging about the good things that are happening in my life, but they challenge me to accept that it’s okay to be proud of yourself, or upset over things that probably don’t mean much in the long run.

I have friends that have similar interests to mine, or at least take interest in my passions because they know how important they are to me. It’s so refreshing to know that I can ramble on about my favourite TV shows or have a conversation about musical theatre without having to stop and answer questions. There is nothing like being surrounded by people who are as passionate as you, it’s an intoxicating feeling, and those conversations could go on for hours.

My friends support my dreams and hopes for the future. Throughout my life and to this day, people constantly tell me that my dream is unattainable, or that once I get my dream job I won’t really like it as much as I think. It’s so overwhelmingly wonderful to have friends who not only support my dreams, but push me to go for them, and would support me along every step of the way.

Thank you to all of the wonderful people in my life. I am constantly blown away by all of you, and I am smarter, more confident and happier for having you in my life. I only hope I can return the favour to each of you and be as good of a friend to you, as you are to me.

 

Canadian Election 2015

Today is October 19th and Election Day in Canada! This is the first federal election I am eligible to vote in and I am so excited. I have just come home from my polling station and I am so proud to have cast a ballot.

A very sick me at the polling station!

A very sick me at the polling station!

I am not a politically minded person. During conversations about politics I usually just listen to other people’s ideas without putting forth any of my own. But this election is something big for the country and so I wanted to be informed. I found photos and articles detailing the platforms of each party, I took an online quiz (a reliable one) to help me figure out which party best fit with my views and I tried to engage in as many political conversations as I could. It’s my first election, and I wanted my vote to accurately represent what I wanted for this country. I was so excited when I found that many people my age were also doing the same thing.

My generation generally gets a bad rap, but my Facebook and Twitter feeds were full of young people encouraging their friends and family to educate themselves and go out to vote. I didn’t see a single post of encouragement from any other generation. I saw a lot of hate for different parties and a lot of people trying to bully others into voting for the party they wanted.  It was my generation who were being supportive, trying to inform people and encouraging each other to vote. We are having conversations and debates online, sharing information and being respectful while doing it. I am proud of my generation.

I was shocked, and honestly a little appalled at the amount of people in my parent’s age bracket who were poorly informed or who did not care at all. I was surprised by all the cynicism people displayed, and the attitude of ‘all politicians are awful, no matter who I vote for will ruin the country’. While I am not naive enough to believe that all the politicians will keep every single promise they made through the (very long) campaigning period,  I believe that this mentality is what will hurt the country.  I was told by quite a few adults today that they were not voting or were going to spoil their ballot.  One person told me that he was going to vote for whichever candidate supported his favourite hockey team. Is that any way to decide who will govern our country? Some people I spoke to had never heard of strategic voting before, and I had to explain to them what it was, and why it could potentially be the deciding factor in the vote.

I am not expecting everyone to be a political genius. Lord knows I am not. But it is so easy to get information on each platform within seconds of an online search.

I am urging people to vote. Polls are open until 9:30 pm in Canada. While I do have my own political beliefs, and I am rooting for a certain party, as long as you are making an informed vote I respect you. Remember that you are allowed to disagree with the opinion, but you are not allowed to belittle a person based on their political beliefs. Every vote does matter, and if you do not vote, or you spoil your vote, I refuse to listen to you complain about politics until the next election. We have been complaining for years about the government, and this is our time to make a change (or not, depending on where you stand).

If I can make an educated vote, so can you.

It’s October!

So it occurred to me the other day while I was writing a post for one of my other blogs that I haven’t posted in this one since July!! It’s now the beginning of October and I feel awful for leaving this blog for so long. I figured that I would just write a little update about what I’ve been up to since then.

October. It’s one of my favourite months and only because Halloween is this month. Anyone on Tumblr knows that Halloween season basically starts after Easter, but it’s now acceptable for the rest of the world to start getting ready too. I also enjoy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, but I won’t be going home this year so my Thanksgiving will be spent with my school work. I’ll probably be thankful that midterm season is almost over at that point. My midterms go into November, but the bulk of them are around Thanksgiving.

I’ve been missing Scotland lately. Missing abroad really. I obviously still have friends living in Scotland, and I still have friends who are abroad and travelling. I miss everything about it. I miss waking up and seeing mountains everyday and being able to breath in the cool crisp air. I miss going on trips to Scottish villages, and the highlands or getting on a plane to another country. Seeing everyone’s photos and Snapchats is lovely, but it’s also hard to see everything I am missing. My saving grace from this is talking to my overseas friends. I may have mentioned this before, but I have been writing letters to one of my friends from Europe. It’s so painful waiting weeks to get a response, but it makes coming home every day to check the mail exciting. I am going to start exchanging letters with another friend of mine once she gets settled into her permanent flat. I also use Facebook to connect with a ton of people. I love the group chats we have, because it seems like I could still be living in my flat just twenty minutes away from everyone.

Since I am no longer able to travel between countries over the weekend, I’ve decided to get more involved with school. I am excited to say that I am a new member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity! The fraternity bit is slightly misleading – it’s a women’s fraternity (sorority). It’s been a wild ride so far, and I am so overwhelmed by how nice and welcoming everybody has been. It is still a recent development, but I am sure I will have much more to say before long!

I have plans for a couple of tattoos! Since Scotland I have been trying to figure out what I would like to get permanently inked into my skin, and I think I have made some decisions! My first tattoo is going to be something personal to me, I am thinking either a constellation (debating Ursa Minor or Orion currently) or the Celtic knot that is on my necklace. My second one is actually going to be one of a pair. Emma (who I write Young, Crazy and Gorgeous with) and I are planning on getting tattoos together. We haven’t worked out any details yet, but we will. I am excited. I have always kind of wanted a tattoo, but no idea what I wanted or where I wanted it placed. If I have any further developments I will be sure to post!

I think that is all that is going on in my life right now! If you wish, please let me know what’s going on in your life in the comments! I would love to hear what everybody is doing. 🙂

Rückkehrunruhe

It has been just over 2 months since I came back to Canada (2 months and 6 days to be exact, but who’s counting?). My life has mostly gone back to normal, I wake up most days, eat breakfast, go to work and come home. On my days off I run errands. However ‘normal’ my life has become, there are still many times during my daily routines that I am reminded of my time abroad.

I spoke to a woman at work today who asked me about my necklace. For those who are unaware, I wear the necklace that I bought in Scotland almost every day. I loved talking to her about my experience in Scotland, but it made me realize how quickly my time abroad is becoming a thing of the past.

This isn’t the first time this has crossed my mind either. I finally finished the chapstick that I bought while I was abroad and it was a weird thing to go pick up another one. It was literally something so simple and mindless, but it was one of the last things I had been using from Scotland and I was sad to see it go.

It’s easy to focus on how long it’s been since I went on my exchange and all the things that I miss. What’s not easy is seeing all the ways that my time in Scotland is still affecting my life. Without going into how it changed me as a person, I made a lot of friends while I was in Europe and I still talk to a fair amount of them. I message a few people daily, I’ve started talking to exchange students from Europe that are going to be starting at my school in the fall, and I’ve even started writing letters to one of my friends in Germany.

I often forget that when I’m messaging people on Facebook or Whatsapp how incredible it is that we are talking. I am very much aware of the time difference, not that anyone pays much attention to that – everyone just responds when they’re awake and it works out fine. But because Facebook is such a normal part of my life in Canada, I don’t always realize how special it is to be able to talk to people in different countries any time I want.

That’s one of the things I love about having an actual pen pal. We sit down and physically write each other letters. Yes they take a long time to be delivered, but it reminds me how amazing that connection is. I would never give up electronically messaging my friends – it makes life much easier, and it is such a convenient way to keep in touch. There’s just something about getting a letter in the mail knowing it came from somewhere far away that makes me realize that while I may not be abroad any more, it still impacts my life more than I often realize.

Rückkehrunruhe: the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness (Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows)

I’d Like to Say Thank You

It’s official, I have been in Canada for one month. 

While it’s been a good month, it has still been a little weird finding ways to adjust to life back here. I’ve been thinking a lot about the friends I made while I was travelling, especially the ones who had travelled or were travelling themselves. Those are friendships unlike anything I’ve encountered in Canada and I want to say thank you to those people. 

Thank you for understanding my picky eating

You know that people come from different backgrounds and youre okay with it. You understand more than most people back home that I don’t like everything and it’s okay for me to have a different taste in food. 

Thank you for becoming close over a few days 

Getting to a new country is hard but meeting you guys makes it seem a little more exciting. We can swap stories of our experiences and venture out to explore together. 

Thank you for not caring what I wear/look like 

After a long day of travelling or I haven’t found a laundry place, you don’t care if I’m wearing the same outfit as yesterday, you understand that laundry and fashion aren’t exactly my priorities when I travel.

Thank you for not being offended when I don’t recognize you or remember your name

We all meet a ton of people and it happens to everyone. Some names get mixed up, and sometimes I straight out don’t recognize you outside the hostel. You never get offended, and chances are you’ve forgotten my name as well.

Thank you for understanding when I want to be cheap 

Being students and travellers it’s costing us an arm and a leg to be here. While paying for a nice dinner or an attraction would be nice, we can go without if it means saving some money. 

Thank you for understanding my situation

As lovely as it is to share experiences with people back home, I love sharing with you guys. You guys know exactly what it’s like to be in this situation and can appreciate a good travel story and have some of your own to share. We help each other learn about different cities and give advice on things to do and where to go. Without this advice I would not have had such an amazing trip. 
So thank you, and I hope we will meet again someday.