It’s not often that an international burlesque performer of Dirty Martini’s calibre shimmies her way into town, so when I heard she was coming to Glamilton I signed up for the “Meet’n ‘Greet” with a squeal! And whilst I was there, I must admit, I behaved much like a groupie – I took endless selfies and photos galore and listened to her every word like a little sponge! Sorry everyone, but I couldn’t help it – and also, I wanted to write this post because OMG, Dirty Martini!
If you’re not a burlesquey kind of person and you don’t know who Dirty Martini is, just Google her – you’ll understand my groupie-ish behaviour then! In the meantime, let me just put this pic here to give you an example of Dirty’s fabulousness:
As one would expect, Dirty is a huge character with a great deal of pizazz. Having met her in person and observed the massive presence she has, I am pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting to see her perform in person – which thankfully is tonight!
A group of about twenty of us Glamilton ladies were lucky enough to have dinner with Dirty at Good George Dining Hall & Brewery in Frankton and it was a fabulous evening where the girls all dressed up in typical Glamilton BurleyQ fashion and so did Dirty! Her trademark Marilyn wig; a lamé dress and eyelashes you could shelter from the rain under made up Dirty’s attire, not to mention fabulous shoes. It was most certainly not an understated outfit – as you would expect! Not that it really matters, but for the record, I wore my new Pinup Girl Clothing Snow White Jenny dress. It has Snow White and The Wicked Queen and poison apples and stuff …
Anyway … whilst we were having dinner I was fortunate enough to sit opposite to Dirty, and so was able to enjoy her conversation most of the evening. She has the most fabulous laugh which comes out all the time, her happiness is infectious and she is incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and performer tips.
Dirty had taken some classes in Glamilton over the last couple of days and we were discussing some of the things she had taught the ladies. Did you know that when you have a “prop” such as the swan (up there in Dirty’s pic) you have to create a character for the prop; you have to ensure your own character shines through; there needs to be a relationship between your character and the prop’s character and there also needs to be some kind of conflict and resolution in the act? And you just thought it was a performance right?! Well I must admit I didn’t know a lot of that and that’s why it is so incredibly valuable for performers like Dirty to come to NZ and to share that type of knowledge. (Special thanks to Catherine Smith for bringing her here.)
Amongst other things we discussed with Dirty, we talked about her fabulous curves and how they had affected her dance career throughout her life (she did ballet for years and a degree, I think, in performing arts – sorry if that’s wrong Dirty) – it was interesting for me to hear that Dirty has not always been as confident as she is now in her body and in fact has suffered a lot of emotional turmoil over the years because her body doesn’t fit the “typical dancer’s” mould (bear in mind what most ballet dancers look like.) It seems though, that her struggles helped build the person she is today. They say great things come from hardship, and it seems like they might be right.
It struck me several times throughout the evening that Dirty is 100% comfortable, and in fact joyous, about her body. The way she moves; the way she presents herself; the way she talks about her body – it’s amazing. One conversation we all had was how important it is to ensure our daughters don’t grow up hating their bodies. Dirty, I am right with you on that one.
By the way – the only time Dirty ever “worries” about her body she says is when she follows Dita von Teese onto the stage! Dirty performs in Dita’s “Strip Strip Hooray” burlesque show and she says when Dita comes off stage, completely wet and glistening after her martini glass act; gives Dirty a wink and says “good luck” – well, Dirty does feel slightly insecure going on stage after that! But we can totally understand that – because, Dita. (According to Dirty by the way – Dita IS that bloody perfect!) But Dirty says she’s never met an audience she hasn’t been able to win over, and I can well imagine that!
Dirty says she does occasionally get nervous still and a while ago in Paris, she was actually “shit scared!” And that show, she says, turned out to be one of the best of her life! While she is incredibly prepared and puts a huge amount of effort into her acts, Dirty confirmed that she does ad lib up there on stage and tailors her routine to the audience – as every good performer does.
So that is my roundup of a fabulous evening with one of burlesque’s gems … Dirty Martini – you were spectacular and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you.
I will end this post with a quote from Liberace that Dirty loves and that, for me, sums her up perfectly:
“Too much of a good thing … is wonderful.”
Love and Dirty Martini-groupie hugs …