Can’t it wait, I’m on the ‘phone’: By Immodesty Blaize
Author Bio: Immodesty Blaize is Europe’s premier showgirl. The only British woman ever to win the title Reigning Queen of Burlesque in Las Vegas in 2007, Immodesty has performed her extravagant shows internationally for clients such as Dior, Cartier, and Prince Albert of Monaco, and in shows with artistes such as James Brown, Roxy Music, Nick Cave, Scissor Sisters, and Gloria Gaynor to name just a few.
Immodesty’s documentary ‘Burlesque Undressed’ screened in cinemas in over 30 countries, and her two novels were Top 20 bestsellers. She is a certified eating psychology practitioner, and a long-standing body positivity ambassador. Immodesty lives in Monaco.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Immodesty Blaize
Life mirrors stage.
The pleasure of slowing down is something I took from stage, to daily life. Slow down. When you take to the stage you’re in your body, you feel every movement, you’re in the moment, time slows down. When we charge through life at 100 mph, and thrash around in all our busy-ness, everything is a blur and we don’t have time to feel things or see details or truly soak up sensation, we become disembodied. Slow is sexy. Slow commands attention. It’s true in life, and it’s true on stage. Creating moments of stillness among all the feathers and rhinestones is a strip-teaser’s winning hand.
It’s the preserve of a showgirl to be just one of many sparkles in the kaleidoscope, to blend in to the chorus-line, to be identical to her co-stars and kick her legs in unison. But with the age of the strip-teaser, as Alain Bernadin (founder of Crazy Horse) said of moving on from Parisian showgirl-shows like the Folies, ‘I think we’re in the age where we’re going to focus the spectator’s attention on one woman by herself, instead of spreading it over twenty.’
So that’s a responsibility, holding all that attention! A first thought might be – speed up, add more choreography, throw as much into the recipe as possible, fill every second, get to the front of the stage. And sure, the audience might feel full, but will they feel satisfied?
To truly tease, don’t be too eager. Get back behind the line of the proscenium arch. Slow down. Know your best tools to seduce. Check in to your body. Know what it’s doing, where it’s going. Hold a gaze. Make them wait. Would you successfully seduce a lover with a stack of pre-rehearsed pick up lines? Doubtful. Similarly on stage, loosen the choreography to allow for improvisation; open flirtatious, playful conversation to respond to the mood of the audience. Above all, have fun; the best flirts are those who are fun to be around.