Thursday, August 4, 2011
A Quickie with Gal Friday
I don't know what I would do without the aptly named Gal Friday, burlesque star, pinup model, and Miss Coney Island 2009. She's a great girl in a pinch (and to pinch). You can take her anywhere and she can handle anything. She's charming, beautiful, and hilarious. And she's a fabulous performer with some fine, fine moves. She's saved my sanity in the middle of the night many a time, and I'm extremely fortunate to have her teaching at NYSB! I wish this was a longee instead of a quickie...
Gal in the private NYSB space at the Slipper Room.
How did you learn to do burlesque?
I'm still learning to do Burlesque! That's the best part... I keep learning and evolving. I never want to grow up, I just want to keep growing up !
When did you start teaching within the burlesque community?
About 3 years ago, at NYSB.
What are some of your favorite acts to perform?
This changes frequently. But at the moment I'd say Conquistadores, a newer act. I've just revamped it a bit, it's come a long way since I debuted it months ago. I like seeing how acts mature, like having kids. But kids you stuff in a bag at the end of the night when you're done with 'em.
Did you ever expect to be teaching regularly?
I actually figured it would happen at some point, though I didn't know it would be in Burlesque! Back in ye olde University my professors were trying to nudge me in that direction. I didn't want to hear it! For me it perform perform perform. But, I now see what an honor it was that they saw that in me. Teaching is hard work. You want people to trust you and what you have to offer... and sometimes you have to set aside your own opinions/feelings & let them take what they want out of it. You also have to be willing to give up a part of yourself and what you've learned... that's scary. Knowing how to be a good, fair, yet entertaining teacher is an admirable skill.
What are some of the classes you teach?
Classic Moves, Chair, Glove/Stocking Peel. I'll step in for Peekaboo Pointe's Booty Class when she's off being famous somewhere! All are great fun! But I love any class where I throw in a small workout and make you sweat and curse my good name. You'll thank me later :)
What have been some of your favorite experiences as an instructor?
Teaching a Senator from Oklahoma to tassel twirl. She was 63 and a breast cancer survivor. She had a double mastectomy and be damned if we didn't figure out a way for her to twirl!! She wanted to learn and thrilled to find out she could. I always tell girls who bemoan about their breasts (too big, too small, etc) about Joyce. " If she can do it, you can too! Now take off your tops..."
What do you most hope people take away from your classes?
Confidence, solid practical advice, and maybe some sore muscles!
Final word of advice for aspiring performers?
Go to shows and support. You'll learn so much by watching your peers. Respect your fellow performers, a lot of them paved the way to make this a lot easier for you to do. Also, honor your art. Burlesque isn't just flitting around til your boobs are out... it's Strip Tease, it's telling a story! And whether you do classic, avant garde, etc... you want to entertain your audience. Remember, we all practice and rehearse our butts off to make it all seems so improvised and easy. We all have boobs, so the challenge is: what do I have to offer to make this entertaining for that crowd out there?
Gal n me after our mother-daughter act. It's ok to be disturbed... ;)