As I've mentioned before last November I decided that I would start taking burlesque lessons. I decided that I would have one-to-one lessons rather than join a class. After having taught me the basics, M, my teacher who is simply amazing, and I began working on a routine. In April this year after a couple of prompts I joined her intermediate class. Last Monday I finally put all that hard work together and performed my routine in front of a few friends in Bristol.
I'd had my hair done especially at the salon by Lou, lots of blonde hair, curls and waves and all the curls at the back pinned up. Definitely not a look I've tried before but absolutely fabulous.
I'd gone to Lou's in boy drag but had managed to find a place to park about 30 yards away on the main road. With my hair done I had to walk out of the salon and walk to the car. Two years ago I'd have never dreamed of walking to my car with my hair in such an obviously feminine style. What a difference time makes. I walked out of the salon door and turned to say goodbye to Lou who had come in on her day off especially to do my hair. I'd been nervous about making my way to the car but as I stood there in public talking to her any nerves simply evaporated.
I strolled down to my car, got in and drove from the salon to my friend K's house. Nerves began to set in when I got there as I'd asked her at the last minute if I could pop in and get changed and put on my make-up, she'd agreed but I knew that I'd have to get a move on before her children got home from school.
Its amazing how quickly you can change your clothes and put on foundation and lipstick when you try.
Monday was the hottest day we've had for a while so between the heat and getting flustered about getting ready so that I would be away before anyone got home I started to perspire. K helped me finish getting ready as my hands were beginning to shake. She managed to calm me down and with several minutes to spare I was ready to leave and head to Bristol.
The drive was long and slow because of traffic but it gave me plenty of time to calm down.
I finally arrived at my M's house and parked up. There was only one person in the street and although she looked at me she soon went back to tidying her front garden.
After a bit of a chat about how we both were I changed into my costume for the performance and I did a walk through of the routine. With that out of the way it was time to get changed into the dress and shrug that I was going to wear to go to the pub where I would be performing and finish my make-up.
It was so hot that I ended up having to borrow a gorgeous fan in order to cool myself down. Sitting there fanning myself I felt so feminine, even a bit old fashioned.
Eventually the other student from my class that was meeting up with us in order to go to the pub arrived. We grabbed our bags and with a deep breath I ventured out into bright daylight with the other two.
Any hopes I might have had that we wouldn't see many people were immediately dashed as we walked down the road and a couple walked passed us on the other side of the road.
I'd been told that it was a ten minute walk to the pub and it was definitely that. It was also, along Staplegrove Road which looked a bit of a rough area. Three very glamorously dressed females are going to draw attention and I saw quite a few guys looking at us but nobody said a word and nobody stared at me. I was so thrilled.
Then M dropped a bombshell, she needed to pop into a shop on the way.
We stopped outside a convenience store and she went in leaving me and my companion standing outside. I found that I had to make a decision. I could stand outside the shop with lots of guys around or I could take a big step and go inside. I've never been inside a shop as Jenny, of course I was currently walking through an area of Bristol that I'd probably not have gone through in boy mode. I looked at my companion and both of us decided to go inside.
We stood near the entrance and chatted, dodging the young child that was running around the place. Eventually M came back to join us and we left the shop.
As we continued on she turned to me and said “I was watching you as you two were stood there and from the way you were standing you looked completely at ease and also completely like a woman.”
I remember trying to make sure that I was standing properly but didn't think I'd been that successful.
As we got closer to our destination we passed two guys sat in a park, I glanced at them and then back to the path in front of me to watch where I was going. From their direction I heard a wolf whistle and some comment about hot looking women. I couldn't help but smile.
Eventually we arrived at the pub and went inside. I bought a round of drinks for the four of us that were there, M's friend had managed to make it, and then we wandered outside to sit down at a table to wait for the rest of the people that had been invited.
One by one we contacted people that we knew were coming only to find out that they couldn't make it. Zee, my beautician had got home late and didn't have time to get to Bristol, K had got as far as Shepton Mallet before being defeated by all the traffic resulting from people leaving Glastonbury and also everyone who was trying to get the Bristol for a Bon Jovi concert. I certainly can pick nights to do things. I think I might just have to do my routine again especially for Lou, Zee and K. More locally this time, I'm sure that I can find a suitable venue.
The pub is on a corner and the table was on the pavement alongside the main road. After a half hour of sitting there chatting and watching people walk or drive by we went inside and I did my routine. Again I managed to achieve a first by stripping out of my outer clothes in a pub, admittedly without anyone else around, and getting down to my costume which I'd been wearing underneath.
After so much preparation and so much build up the performance was absolutely brilliant. I couldn't have been happier with it. It wasn't flawless but you try performing a burlesque routine on a slopping floor. Yes, the pub has a floor that slopes, quite impressively, from one side of the room to the other, a good foot or two in fact.
After doing my routine I removed the corset that I'd worn as part of the costume and slipped back into my dress and shrug. We all went back outside and sat down at the table to have another drink. The rest of the night passed with us sitting chatting outside the pub watching people go passed.
By the end of the night I'd managed two further firsts. I now know what the inside of a ladies toilet looks like and I've also ridden in the back of a taxi in girl mode.
We'd talked about me having ticked off everything I could possibly need to do as a girl and certainly I managed to do quite a few things. I'm sure that in time I'll do everything.
It was an absolutely wonderful evening and it marked a major change in how I see myself. Until then I'd always had my doubts about whether or not I'd be able to cope with going out in public as Jenny. After Monday I now know that I might not pass completely and I will get stared at and most likely have people make comments but certainly if I've got friends with me then I have the confidence to strut my stuff down that catwalk that is life. I can do this, I've changed so much, I'm no longer shy and timid. I'm more confident and more chatty, I'm strong and sassy and I'm continuing to grown and change and in the next few weeks that's going to be tested to the max.