In the dressing room gossip is passed around as quickly as the wine that’s being drunk. Rumours of promoters that don’t pay on time, the critique of someone’s act and the fascination with others success and failure is passed from one performer to another.
Sat on the sumptuous red beds in the dimly lit dressing room of Café de Paris, I’m sharing a “bed” with Burlesque Circus Starlet, Roxy Velvet as I primp and preen myself for tonight’s show the premiere night of “La Reve.” And tonight I am the compare and hostess with the mostess (to coin a phrase.) In the dressing room burlesque darling Vicky Butterfly carefully adorns herself with a costume that would give Puff Daddy a run of his money as the king of bling. Truly sumptuous and all hand made her costume is a work of art. She’s a showgirl that literally sparkles , even in the dimly lit dressing rooms of Café de Paris. Blond bombshell Burlesque star and pianist (yes that’s right Pianist) Chrys Columbine sits to my left as she cinches her tiny waist into a corset. Beautiful and unexpected her Naked Nocturne act is burlesque at its best.
Café de Paris is one of my favourite venues, sexy, opulent (a great sound system you wouldn’t believe how rare this is) and it’s steeped in history, Marlene Dietrich performed there as did Noel Coward and of course little old me . However, the lighting in the dressing room was clearly not designed for showgirls putting on their makeup or perhaps the truth is we look better in the dark and with this much make up you know we are older than we look. Roxy and I hole up in the toilets to apply our make up and I make her critique my make up in the hope that I won’t go out onstage and look like a drag queen. Not that this bothers me, it’s wanted I wanted to be when I grew up, Mother would be so proud.
So, Lipstick on, Corset laced, false eyelashes that are refusing to stick, and enough perfume to fumigate the audience, (The front row could pass out if I get to close) Pianist Pete Saunders also/dear friend and whiskey companion (he used to play in Dexy’s Midnight Runners don’t you know) asks me what songs I’m going to sing tonight? Hmmmm not sure, let me see what the audience are like, wouldn’t want to look like I know what I’m doing now would I?
Adrenalin starts in kick in, I can hear the audience outside. Pete is starting to play the piano and I’ve just been told to get ready to go on. I climb three flights of stairs in a corset and heels only to be told we’ve gone the wrong way. I need a wee and a gin but there’s no time and they do say you perform better under pressure although I’m not sure if trying not to let out a bit of wee constitutes performing under pressure. (on the other hand there should always be time for gin which is just as well as I keep a mini bottle/bar in my hair depending on the style I’m wearing)
So what happened next? Did I ever get to wee? How much gin did I drink? And why does my cat like to sit in boxes and stare into space??
For regular updates of my jaunts and jolly exploits and gin drinking come back and see me sometime. I’d like to say thanks for having me but some of you haven’t been that lucky! (although to be fair my standards aren’t that high so you must be really bad) I promise glitz, glamour and gossip on the true life of a showgirl and show off!
Until next time my darlings!! Xxx Ivy xxX
Ps check out La Reve it’s on every friday at Cafe de Paris