In the wake of the most recent mass murder incident in Orlando, I want to talk a bit about creation as catharsis. Creating something is always a cathartic experience for me in some way, no matter what the project. But some of my most resonant art has come from times in my life when I had no words to express the well of emotions I was feeling for a specific issue. I needed to create art in order to try to heal my own relationship with the issue, and to share my inner dialogue with my audiences. Those are the performance pieces I connect with the most – the ones where I feel the most open – free – confident.
My burlesque performance piece on US Gun Control is one of the more obvious examples of one of these pieces. I also have a piece based on the US Economic Crisis that echoes similar cautionary sentiments. Through these types of pieces I hope to use entertainment to educate. When I say “education” I don’t mean that I hope to force my opinion on others, but rather that the experience of viewing my art opens a dialogue within the viewer about the issue. That it forces them to consider their own thoughts and opinions about the issue and that those opinions help them further define themselves as human beings. For that is the power of art. I love to create performances that entertain on a more superficial level, but the pieces that emerge when I connect more deeply with the core of the concept are the ones that bring me the most fulfillment. When I watch videos of my various pieces, I notice a distinct element of fierceness and commitment in myself when performing those pieces that have a purposeful idea at their center.
Today I share with you videos of my two USA based burlesque performance pieces – because I feel the need to share creation as catharsis today. I wish I could locate more recent videos such as the performance of “American Woman” from the 2014 Vancouver Burlesque Festival, but I think the spirit still shines through in these older videos.