Everybody knows her. Well nearly everyone born in a certain time frame of 1990's pop culture, knows exactly who she is. Icon for all misfits. The perfectly silly music video for an equally strange song. Cover album sweetie, known lovingly as the Blind Melon Bumblebee Girl. Although she was featured on the cover of their hit album, she is best known for "No Rain" after running out into the world after being humiliated at a dance recital. When that guitar melody kicks in, there is always a wave of euphoric nostalgia that roars through the audience.
I don't know why, but I feel that little girl is my spirit animal. It's more than just the face I strangely adore dressing up like a bumblebee [the yellow makes me happy?], but maybe it was just having the image placed on me. I am the middle child of three daughters, and I think the middle is the more balanced out of the bunch. I argue this because I've had an annoying little sister, and have been the annoying little sister and gain perspective or humility from each role. My older sister not only took the liberty to shave my eyebrows into those razor thin 1990's style, that have sadly never regained it's full thickness; one good thing she did was introduce me to older music. Not just vicariously, but took it upon herself to educate me in rock n' roll thoroughly. I believe I was the only kid in my elementary school who knew who Kurt Cobain was when he died, and this knowledge paid off in other random ways such as winning the special prize at a slumber party because I knew bands like Counting Crows, NIN and Stone Temple Pilots. Blind Melon was also in my sister's arsenal. She would often times say to me:
"You are just like that bumble bee girl, always trying to find your hive."
In many ways, she was right. Maybe being the middle in a military family made it harder for us to make friends. I certainly was a sensitive child that tended to get bullied a lot. So whenever we had to move to a new school, I learned to keep mostly to myself. If I was lucky, I was befriend people randomly or find myself in commonality with another group of misfits. I remember in high school, people had their cliques but it wasn't like there was a particular popular group everyone wanted to be associated with. You just sat with the people you were friends with. It was cool to be in marching band at my high school, so I never really felt alone or like the typical TV "loser" you think when you imagine someone in marching band. We were 350 people strong. Our football team was so bad, most people came for us and our incredible half time show.
But hives come and go when you are the wandering bumble bee. While there are some challenges with that kind of upbringing, there is a great resiliency and self-perseverance. I think it's important to take inventory on what pieces of your past you take with you in life. In burlesque, there are many hives. You just need to find the ones that's right for you. I try not to carry the loner aspect around with me, because if you open yourself up to the idea that positive experiences are possible, sometimes the universe doesn't let you down. For some reason though, I just get so much joy whenever I get to perform this piece, and I feel people can all identify with the Blind Melon Bumble Bee Girl at least in some points in their lives. This was the first "comical" act I ever created. I wouldn't even say it's like the phrase "dance like no one is watching" but dance like people are watching, and you just don't care. I find it easy to be sexy on stage, but a whole other level of vulnerability to be silly and self-depreciating. I love burlesque because of such challenges.