Rape-tour of Applause?!

TRIGGER WARNING. Contains rape, sexual assault and a whole heap of angry shit.

See how quick it was to make a shite pun about rape? Yeah welcome to the modern world where rape is a word we can use as freely as asking for a cuppa or saying thank you. Oh he was a bit rapey. How rapey was he/she?!

Rape is not a word I like. Its not a word I enjoy. I was raped. Numerous times. Various ages. Pined down, passed around etc etc.  Its not about sex. Its about an abuse of power but at the time, it felt like killing my soul, my very being and for years after, I was raped mentally when I smelt CK1 or heard a certain song. The ripples of damage long done. When a boyfriend pushes a little hard to get me to have a little something-something…yeah I react badly. Poor bloke. He didn’t know my past.

When a promoter chooses to allow a song about rape to go on their stage, they need to be able to say hey I did this because of X, Y and Z. The same goes for creators of content. You need to be able to justify forcing it onto audiences, especially when not aware of what is about to come at them. Art is about challenges. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. Artists will always produce work to push boundaries. There are certain subject matters that will always cause controversy and I am glad one of them is the topic of rape. I dont condone rape. I would have been a more willing victim if I did. I am however a survivor of rape. I am very vocal at times about what happened to me. Some people are not so vocal. Those silent victims. They are the ones my heart breaks for. You dont need to announce to the world that you were raped, but some cant even admit it to themselves.  We should be able to speak openly about rape when able to, discuss it when we can and vilify it. RAPE RAPE BASTARD FRIGGIN CUNTING RAPE!

When using rape in any context, RAPE IS A FUCKING CRIME and has life long repercussions. LIFE LONG. Not two moments and you are all done. Wam bam thank you mam. This isnt just the fucking. This is the life of someone. This is their body, their essence and their rights.  If you choose to put on stage something to do with rape, you need to have your answers ready when questioned on it.

Rape is common place in our society. This scene from Watchmen for example

We have songs about it, we have tshirts about rape (thanks Forever 21…not) Hell here is a whole heap of films that contain rape or sexual assault in them https://letterboxd.com/queencockatiel/list/movies-with-sexual-assault-rape-in-them/

Aint we a very fortunate society where shit like this we pay to see….because sadly rape is a real life issue. So it doesnt matter if we dress it up in latex and give her a superhero name, or show her taking revenge in a blood bath sword fight, that scene exists because creators know the gut reaction it causes. They know that it happens and people can relate to it. But let me tell you, let me break this shit right down.

If you put rape on a pedestal be it to vilify or take the piss out of, be damn sure you have your ducks in a line when people come asking questions. That goes for promoters, MCs, performers and anyone else.

RAPE IS FUCKING CRIME. PUN INTENDED.

If someone is dismissed over their concerns, how much does that say about society?! Life imitating art….art imitating life.

To my fellow survivors, we got this shit. We got this. We got it together. They dont have us anymore. We are not invisible. To the performer Wildvixen* who spoke out: I salute you. I applaud you. I pity the fool who crosses you.

https://rapecrisis.org.uk/

*Wildvixen is fully aware and happy with this posting. I have ran it by her before and since posting.

Let’s Get Some Perspective – Burlesque Performance Photos

I am right with you, there are just some photos of me performing that have in the past made me cringe. Sure it may be my resting bitch face, my gurning but mostly its about me seeing my body in what I felt in my own mind to not be the best. So let me break it down to ya’ll how this thing called perspective and perception works. Being that I am also a photographer (www.KhandiePhotography.com and Get us on the old Facebook too) I kinda like to think I may have a little more insight into this….possibly….hopefully.

RIGHT!

Firstly YOU ARE NOT 2 Dimensional. You are a multifaceted surface like a friggin diamond (like the analogy?! Means you can sparkle and are beautiful etc). Therefore a 2D representation of you isnt the full picture. No pun intended…mostly. So when a photographer clicks that shutter they are basically converting your awesome down into another form. Its a fabulous thing but even you know that you cant see the full cake from one photo, you gotta spin that bad boy about to see it all. So why do you think a single photo of you is the same? Thats why you get oodles of photos of a performance. Your photographer knows this!!!

Lit from above but those shadows be making my curves look more apparent. I am a friggin diamond. You cant capture my awesome in one photo…..

Secondly….think of light as water. I mean it. You are lit from above mostly by stage lights, the sun, my beaming smile etc right? So if the lighting falls down, much like water it will only hit the surfaces it sees. It bounces/flows off of those. This can be beautiful but it can also increase viability on shadows that actually arent as apparent to the eye normally. Your boobs for example: Lit on top beautiful but shadowed underneath. Because light/water cant magically bounce back up and under to illuminate that area under there. So when that photographer snaps that button, it picks up the shadow.  The same goes with stomachs, arms, your face, hats etc etc.

Thirdly….where your photographer is positioned is key. Now sadly most of us (I know this as I have covered events myself) are put in set places…chosen by people who perhaps dont always get how that thing called perspective works. If I shoot up towards my subject, I am elongating her, shooting up her nose but also seeing more the shadowy areas as I am working up towards the lights. That means you are gonna see in my camera shots shadows more. Now there are some magic photographic jiggery pokery we can work to decrease that but basically shooting up makes you look taller but shows more bumps, shadows (provided the light is from above).

If we were able to take a step back or to the side, stage side etc we would get another angle.  Perhaps the lighting would be softer, less in shadow etc. Shooting from above can make you appear slimmer but also shorter….We have to find that happy medium between them both and sadly we are restricted so often. Hands up photographers who hear me on that!?

This photographer took this from a slightly elevated angle. Notice how I am so much taller (despite being on bended knees) than those behind me? Its all about perspective.

Fourthly capturing something in movement is bloody hard work. Did you know that it wasnt until about the Victorian age people thought horses leaped and didnt run? They thought those beautiful beasts sort of lifted all their feet off the ground to move in a run….bat shit. Thankfully some smart arse managed to really capture a horse moving and learnt it wasnt that way at all. Damn it, no flying horses.

Movement is hard to make static. A photographer can not 100% anticipate your next move so cant predict where you will be. Its friggin hard work. So instead of thinking, yuck I look a muppet…think more ‘holy bat balls I rocked that power slide!’. A photo is pushing pause on something that isnt meant to be paused. A performance isnt 100% captured in a single photo frame. Stop thinking of it like that. Your body makes a million and one different motions in a performance. Something they can be paused and you look beautiful/serene and other times you look constipated. Its all part of the awesome of a performance. Honestly. If you want perfectly poised photos, dont move.

Dont be too beaten up by your photos, capturing movement is hard. Lighting and positioning play a bigger role in your images and can actually make things appear larger, smaller, bigger, curvier than they are. A lens is curved, it can also distort the image.

Lastly dont give a hoot in hell about a ‘bad’ photo of an amazing performance. A good photographer would never share a photo they deem bad. They must have liked it for a reason. As photographer we see art in motion, we just get to preserve that perfect memory forever in an image.

Copyright Khandie Photography http://www.KhandiePhotography.com Taken at a slightly lower angle to make me appear taller but notice the shadowing on my stomach? Also under my chin? Lighting…

 

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New Images – Merch Girl

Ok so most you may realise by now I am the merch girl for the awesome Terrorsaurs! I am pretty much their UK based GoGo dancer. Friggin love it. They are a great band. https://www.facebook.com/terrorsaursurf/ Go check them out.

So I did some new promo shots for them for their latest merch. Photos obviously by Khandie Photography. Naturally.

body suit, fur stole, costume, ballgown, ball gown, khandie khisses, curves, plus size, burlesque, model, performer, tattooed, corset, stockings, suspenders, rabbit ears,

Cheap Isnt Always Wrong In Costume

We all wish we could spunk endless amounts of money on our costumes. We want to emulate those dizzy heights of fame with swarovski rhinestones dripping off our bodies, douse ourselves in the finest of champagnes and wear Louboutins heels as we sashay across those lime lit stages. Fact of matter is given the current state of burlesque pay scales we cant always afford it. Some performers are fortunate enough to have enough of a slush fund from other jobs to help pay for that amount of awesome, some are bank rolled by others and some save everything to pay for it. EVERYTHING. Burlesque costuming however is pricey to create and maintain. Every performance, rehearsal and packing away takes it’s toll on our garments and we find ourselves always repairing, altering and mending.

Now I am not about to discount approaching a costumier like Beau Rocks or Odelia Opium or Daisy Cutter to help make you something swanky but if funds really are tight here are some money saving ideas to help you out.

  1. Really plan how to want to remove garments. Why waste money on tricky garment changes if you are only unclipping it to slink off? Look how the garment works with your routine and plan it effectively.
  2. Look out for sales. I dont mean at the haberdashery either. High street shops, particularly after New Year often have a lot of sparkly items in the sale racks which can be repurposed. I have a great chest harness piece I made from a dress neckline.
  3. Iridescent glitter/rhinestones go with almost every single colour combination and are often the more readily available of rhinestones. They are a mix of colours and can really reflect that light.
  4. Christmas decorations are not just for…well..Christmas. I love popping into the shops to grab garlands and such like to put on my costumes.
  5. Shops like Primark often have a load of broken jewellery pieces they sling in a box to be thrown out. Approach about buying them. I have a great relationship with my local store, that they keep all that stuff for me to buy. I pay about £10 for a massive box every few months. Those pieces can be reused. Necklaces can be come parts of skirts, headdresses and so much more.
  6. Ebay and other online sites can be your friend but try not to buy without purpose. Only really buy what really works or fits. Also be sure to customise it. A headliner doesnt wear off the peg as seen. Make your costume as unique as you the performer should be.
  7. Build up. Start with a good base and slowly add/replace as you earn from the costume. As a rule I tend to put 25% of my earnings for the act back into the costuming to build it up. Dont forget you can reuse pieces from other costumes to help you out until you have the funds to buy separates.
  8. Wedding resale! I kid not I pick up oodles of awesome finds on wedding resale groups on places like Facebook. Also join groups where performers resale their items. Barter.
  9. Dont buy for ‘later’. I know that seems odd but if you buy for future use but REALLY dont have a specific plan for it, put it back. Dont bother wasting money.
  10. Reimagine products. Tassel fringe curtains can make skirts, body harnesses and so much more. Really look at your wardrobe and try to see what else it can be…

Here is a video I made a while ago of a very quick and easily made costume…

 

No You Are NOT Giving To Charity

I realise how click baity that title is but I have a good reason. I am seeing an increase more and more in charity fund raising shows appealing for performers. Most are asking for the performer to work ultimately free so that more money is made for the charity. Or so you think.

Firstly let me add a little disclaimer here as some people arent always smart enough to realise this does not appeal automatically to ALL charity shows and that you need to do your own investigation.

Firstly really find out and get it in writing what is going to the charity. As in actual funds going. Is it the ticket sales? In their entirety or just a portion? Perhaps its cake bake sales only?

Here are some personal experiences I have had in my earlier years and basically was too gullible:

  1. Early years of me performing saw me driving to Telford to perform at a charity event close to my heart. I drive there, perform and then in the dressing room find out I am the ONLY person not getting some form of payment. Travel was paid for all other performers. SO effectively only I was donating to the charity. Livid.
  2. Arrive at a show to perform. Find out everyone is performing for free but only the sales from the cakes sold at the event are going to the charity. Sorry…not cool.
  3. Supposedly perform at a charity show but no proof of donation was made.

khandie khisses, burlesque, marilyn, northampton, london, cambridge, performer, dancer.

You are well within your rights to ask to see proof of donation. Any business would not simply put the money in a box as they need to claim it on their tax return. If they dont submit a tax return (and they admit that) dont work for them. End of. Sorry but why work for someone who isnt paying right. We all have to.

Most donations see the donor given a letter of thanks etc. I get them for Stroke Association every time I donate, Shelter too. Its a standard. Ask to see it.

If they say ticket sales go to the charity actually pipe up and ask is that total or less expenses? Sorry but I think you should know exactly whats going to charity.

So many shows have had hints around them that perhaps its merely to get a free show. Sorry to let you know but I am aware personally of this. Its bad. I know. Rare too.

Are you really helping to donate to charity or are you being taken for a ride?

A real charity show will have no issue supplying details to appease you. They can show you documents, previous donations and just be pretty open. Work for charities you want to support. Dont feel pushed to do it. Also ask for a letter to put towards your own tax return so you can say you donated services worth X amount.