Cherrie Sprite & Sincerely Yours - Doug Ross Photography
The holidays begin to come to a close, I find myself wanting to catch up on rest and reflect over the last year. 2019 was a very transformative year for me, where I had to face a lot of demons. Not only did we lose three Living Legends (Camille 2000, Bonnie Dunn, and Satan's Angel) but members in our own community too like James Kenny. With events such as these, we often take inventory on our own lives. Even before Camille got diagnosed with cancer, she urged me to "set yourself up for life." I found myself single, in my early thirties nearing almost a decade into my burlesque career. What did I have to show for myself? Yes, I have been incredibly proud of the growth and expansion burlesque provided to me, but I was too focused on the next show, the next act than my own self-care. So I cut down on my productions this year. If I couldn't afford to take time off to visit with Camille, what point did I have producing a summer show?
So I did a Valentine's Day show with Regal Sin Productions in February, and then the annual Christmas in Coney show. I spent most of the year getting my finances organized, medical check ups and fortifying growth in career changes outside of performing, I spent more time performing, rebuilding costumes and retiring acts to make space for new ideas. Over the summer, I was lucky to have a summer Residency at Cherry Grove on Fire Island, and did a weekend away upstate for a Rockabilly Festival. And at the end of the summer, not only did I catch up on my beach time and Vitamin D uptake, I performed in the New York Burlesque Festival for the 1st time.
Now that i have a bit more strength in my foundations, I feel more able to relax and create. I am proud to say that this year was my best turn out ever, despite the low response on the Facebook event. That goes to show local promotion can still beat digital promotion, and the local Coney crowd is one of the best crowds a performer could ever ask for.
For offseason, the show was considered sold out. We had over 90 people there, bleachers filled on both sides. Reigning Miss Coney island 2020 Laura Lee Pants had a hilariously raunchy Santa Act, there was of course Fem Appeal as the Christmas Lizard, and the Brides of Burlesque were Brilliant as always. My Friends said every act was killer. I had to make a rash decision to pull the live music two weeks before the show, but I couldn't get all the members on the same rehearsal Schedule and time was running out. Although having live music is one of my favorite things to include in productions, it went smoother considering the circumstances. Also by having Faux Pas Le Fae host the 2nd half of the show, I was able to actually perform an act this time and be more present for my performers. Every year keeps getting better, and i keep growing from each experience.
I was pleasantly surprised over intermission and mingling after the show, the amount of people that keep coming back to the show every year. out of all my production streaks, from monthly's, bi-weeklys, co-productions etc, the Christmas in Coney show is my pride and Joy. Coney island has a very special Place in my heart, and Coney just deserves a Winter Wonderwheel Spectacular!
My special Christmas gift was being able to Bring back a Salvador Dali duet I created many Years ago. Geo Politicus Child Watching the Birth of New man. I had been working with Cherrie SPrite behind the scenes, and found the Christmas in Coney Show to be the perfect way to close out with. What better way to wish Peace on Earth ala Coney Style, than a surreal tribute? You can watch it here:
Thank you so much Doug Ross for providing us with photos from the show, and Regal Films for her videography. You can see highlights from the show at my YouTube channel