Last Sunday as part of Pink Kitten's support for The Revenger's Tragedy put on by Gentleman Jack Theatre company at the Bierkeller in Bristol I took the opportunity to do something that I've not done before and acted as a hostess during the 30 minutes from doors opening to the play starting properly.
I was almost totally unprepared for what faced me. I say almost as I knew that the role involved looking after the male patrons and making sure that they were happy. It also meant picking up a little bit of Italian as the play is based in the Italian court of Il Duce.
Pink Kitten has agreed to support the event by providing hostesses and pole dancers as pre-show entertainment. I was also expecting some intermission burlesque performances but it seems those has been cancelled as I discovered when I arrived and spoke with the director.
On arrival I was shown where things were by the director who explained what would be happening during the time from the doors opening until the show began.
Prior to the show starting ladies and gentleman are encouraged to move to the areas that have been designated for them. Each area has attractive, para-military style, female guards on the entrance.
The women's area has a rather good looking and very talented male singer, which for some reason seemed to be quite popular.
The guys area has pole dancers courtesy of Pink Kitten.
It took a few minutes for the guys to start to make their way into their designated area. The first three guys sat on the benches at the front of the area and quite happily watched the girls performing. Slowly the area filled up until there were about 12 guys sitting, chatting and watching the dancing.
I wasn't sure what I needed to do as everyone had a drink and were either reading their programme or watching the dancing. I chatted to a couple of guys but they all seemed happy enough.
Eventually the pre-show was over and Il Duce made his entrance. The girls who had been pole dancing and myself made our way to the room we'd stored our stuff and after they had got changed from their costumes while the audience were focussed on the performance made our escape. It would have been possible to stay to watch the play but we decided not too, besides I had an hours drive ahead of me in order to get back home.
It was definitely an interesting experience, took me well outside my comfort zone and taught me a quite a few things.
Firstly, if I'm going to try and do something with my hair to give it a bit of a retro look then I need to practice more. I'd spent most of yesterday morning and some of the afternoon with my hair in rollers. My hairstyle that I initially thought looked ok with hindsight wasn't the best. I was tempted to pull my hair back at the last minute but couldn't find the hairband I'd thrown in my bag at the last second before leaving home. Definitely need more practice with my hair. Even as I write this my hair is pulled back and is quite full where it comes out of the scrunchy.
I really need to work on developing my burlesque alter-ego, she needs a proper back history. I have some ideas for it and that will mean I have to go back to my school days and refresh my memory of the Russian that I learned. Ms Von Risque it seems is the daughter of a Russian farm girl and a German soldier from a rich family.
I also have to ignore it when I'm doing something like I was doing last night and guys read me. I noticed one of the guys at the front of the men's area turn to one of his companions and whisper as he looked at me. I can guess what he was saying and it did make me feel a little bit more self-conscious. The only way that I'm going to do that though is with practice. Practice at getting my voice to sound right, practice at getting my look right and practice at getting into character.
As a hostess I also had some guidelines as to what to wear. The instructions were corset or basque and a skirt. Well I have that so I turned up wearing a black corset and calf length black skirt. Of course I also had to wear a black bra which was showing at the top of the corset in order to help keep my breastforms in place and also to hide the fact that they are currently artificial. I was also wearing a black, lace shrug in order to hide my shoulders and arms which are definitely not feminine unless your a female athlete. All in all though it fitted the sexy but classy look that was our brief.
I'd worn a blouse to travel to and from Bristol and learned one important lesson. I might be an artificial C cup normally, something that I'm conscious of from time to time at work, but add a corset to that mix and I could give Jordan a run for her money. Not wanting to be too indelicate but sheesh, my bust was huge thanks to that corset!
The last thing that I learned from being in the men'sarea was just how much I prefer being around women rather than men. I find it a lot more comfortable and much easier to talk with women. I can talk to guys but it tends to be people that I know.
It was an interesting experience, everyone involved with the production was really friendly and I felt welcome and at ease. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Would I do it again? Hmm, maybe but not for a while.