Last weekend I went with my troupe to a convention in Arizona - the Wild Wild West Con - a steampunk sci fi convention fully of costumes, pageantry, tea, and more. We went as performers- as we have done the past 3 years- each year expanding the number of people we bring and changing up the shows we perform.
It was an interesting weekend due to the makeup of our party and the timing of events. It was also an interesting weekend as it was the first big event I have done since my father’s passing and its almost a year to the day that we discovered plan C - bone marrow transplant was not going to move forward for him. That weekend last year was very upsetting and difficult but I was able to be professional and we put on a very fun show and had a nice time with friends. This year was upsetting and difficult because I was reminded of my father, was unable to really connect to anyone at the convention the way I typically do and just had some very odd moments occur.
The first and newest thing we performed at the convention was a fire show! Each performer had at least one fire toy and we had about 28 minutes of music to fill with passion and flames. The fire show went pretty smoothly with one horrifying moment - one of our performers set his leg on fire. He is one of my best friends (and as another friend put it, proof that opposites attract since he and I get along so well, are mistaken for a couple but are diametrically different) - and I love him. However, he’s not always... smart. He only had practiced with his toy (a jump rope) on fire ....once before our show. He did not shake the rope out enough before setting it on fire and then instantly did an advance trick (wrapping the rope around a calf) which transferred all remaining fuel and fire to his leg. We have excellent fire safety though so he escaped with just two half dollar sized blisters. Everything else looked fantastic! We had juggling, fire poi and dart, dragon staff, hoop, contact juggling (which rendered the crowd speechless), and fans!
We also did a short circus show during the day. We had contortion, hooping, swords, fans and juggling. We were accidentally forgotten to be put on the schedule to perform this so we just made our own spaces at the Old Tucson park. The crowds seemed to enjoy it. Made some tips and had an enjoyable afternoon in between the busking with panels, other people’s shows and participating in a music video for Celtica Pipes Rock! a steampunk Celt band based in Austria.
We ended our performing time with the Monstrosi-Tease Burlesque where we had monsters of all kinds strut their stuff. We had the wolf after Red Riding Hood. We had a zombie number performed with feather fans to Down with the Sickness cover by Richard Cheese with the stage kitten dragging her off stage. We had a summoning of the Elder Gods and Kafka beetles. We had statues coming to life and the Bride of Frankenstein looking for a good time. We had Alice from Wonderland stuck in the asylum. We also had a very special guest =- a friend of ours who was “running for office” at the convention give the MC a lap dance. We had kept it a surprise from her and it was a great moment of levity in the show.
Overall the convention was positive. We shopped both at the convention and the Tucson Thrift Store which is always a hoot. We had some odd comments (people suggesting we include a soft core porn model join the troupe....she doesn’t...dance or act guys... she looks fantastic, enjoy that) and drunken moments (don’t burst in on a backstage section dude, we will destroy you). But overall it was pleasant. I felt somewhat disconnected from my group. My male performers are very tight-knit and the other girls didn’t seem to want me around them so I felt like I was doing something wrong the whole weekend when I also felt like I was trying to be as “chill” as possible while also being a manager and the person held responsible by all parties when something goes wrong.
I am guessing I just am imagining some of it. Imposter syndrome or just still working through things. Between my dad, my losing my home and moving back to my parent’s, my significant other breaking up with me due to the fact that I was still struggling with social life and sex and being all there (and not having a place to live) - its just been tough to connect to people and things these days.
Anywho. Yay successful convention!