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Naked July: A Challenge - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2013-06-06 17:52
Subject: Naked July: A Challenge
Security: Public
About a week and a half ago, we were contacted to put together a show for Naked July. With hopeful hesitation, I pulled out my calendar and contacted a few performers I love working with - crossing my fingers for an easy sign that this would be a worthwhile project for us.

Within about 24 hours, I found my ensemble of six, two guest performers, an alternate, an assistant director/choreographer, and a techie - and we are now officially on our way to creating "Vaudezilla!" (Urban Jungle).


This show will combine elements of burlesque with performance art in a series of vignettes about Connection. Legitimate Nudity - in celebration of Naked July - is, of course, encouraged. I'm anxiously awaiting our first rehearsal (tonight), to see what my cast has put together for their solo acts.

As producer & director, this will be my first attempt at executing the full scale of what I think we're capable of as an ensemble. It's an experiment in creating a cohesive show, based on a structure that I've refined over the last 4+ years, using the least number of performers possible so that the profit can (ideally) make this a sustainable source of income for each performer.

It is the direction I want to eventually go with all of our shows.

Honestly, it could blow up in my pretty little face - it's a risky format that requires really poised performers - not just burlyQ dancers and some charismatic male host - but genuinely DYNAMIC performers who are capable of dancing, acting, singing, etc...and can move seamlessly from burlesque act to comedy bit, etc.

And - point blank - these performers and/or Vaudezilla has to have enough of an audience draw to make it financially feasible.

I'm asking a lot of this ensemble, especially because there's nothing that exists locally that they can watch and draw from. I'm asking them to trust that I know where I'm going with this - and to be honest, it all just feels like a bunch of baby steps in what I hope is the right direction for me, as an artist.

I mean, honestly...who knows?

Although I want the piece to resonate emotionally, it's really important to me that it be playful and accessible at the same time. I want it to speak to our audience, but also amuse them - an idea that I've seen work maybe a dozen times in the course of 5+ years as a burlesque dancer.

So...it's risky...but then again, that's why I'm interested!


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Don Alsafi
User: duck2ducks
Date: 2013-06-16 15:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I worked with Living Canvas three years in a row (Stage Managing the first two, co-writing / assistant directing the third); Naked July can indeed offer some ambitious opportunities, for those who choose to take them.

Your vision as described sounds akin to what I felt we were going for, and I'm *very* interested in seeing the result. :)
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