Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Burlesque - A Night With The March Hare - Show Prep!

My burlesque performances are staging a drastic takeover on my life. In little more than two months from my first ever performance* I'm up to three or more per month. This lifestyle is staging a coup on every other hobby and responsibility I have.

My life is sequins and tassels and I don't mind.

I had no idea it would be this involved. My respect and admiration has grown for those who have lived this life far longer and far more successfully than I have (yet) because of the way this glittered wormhole has sucked me in.

So now there's a show coming up. It'll be my first real, big ticket, stage show. I'm running around like a familiar white rabbit trying to get things ready bit by bit so I can shake my bits.

I'll be doing two performances for A Night With the March Hare on March 14th at Revival.

March Hare poster

This show will feature an act that debuted at Mysterion's monthly Mitzi's Sister show, entitled Oh Sheep! and a brand new act!

Oh Sheep! Photo by Shaan Singha

The brand new act is the hard part. I need music, I need moves, I need a costume, and I need all of them to be put together in a reasonably attractive and alluring production that has you more willing to throw twenties than tomatoes.

I've usually started creating my acts with 'Oh, I love this song! I would like to get naked to it...' but this time I'm starting with the concept and doing the music search. It took a lot longer this way...but I came up with ideas for more acts! I think I have the song now, and I think it's being mixed for me, and I think I can pull it together (and pull it apart) in time.

Good thing too, because I've got three more shows to plan for before the middle of May!

*A small, hastily put together show by Nerd Girl Pinups at Comedy Bar

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Red Tea Box - Review

I'm sure the vision of elaborate cakes, sitting prettily in a Queen St West window, would slow even the Atkins addicts of passers-by. Much like the models in the window of Miss Behav'n--only a few streets down--The Red Tea Box shows off its sinful assets from behind a glass pane. Eyes molest the offerings as people walk by, some may stop and linger to take in the view; still more may choose to step inside to see how much they might have to pay for that sweet thing in the window. The only difference between the two windows? The Red Tea Box tempts you with cake.

My decision to actually enter the store, as opposed to staring longingly at what I cannot have, came about on a whim one weekday afternoon. The inside was pleasantly cluttered with sale objects. Under separate glass domes are the single-sized cake offerings of the day, grouped together like gallery pieces. Their elaborate decorations caught my eye as soon as I walked in. There was a group of bright red delicacies that each had a golden Chinese dragon twining around it. Absolutely amazing.

I was quickly attended to by a young girl with a charming accent. She led me to a hidden coach house in the back, across a small yard that I suspect is full of more tables in the summer. The coach house looked like my great grandmother's apartment: a mishmash atmosphere of family pictures, and hand-sewn pillows sitting like button-eyed cats on deeply cushioned chairs. I took a seat in the back corner and took in the rest of the room. There was only one other customer when I arrived, and I'd bother her soon enough.

But first I was offered honeydew water.

When I asked my waitress to repeat the offer she looked as if she had to do just that many times a day. In fact, when other customers came in I heard her repeat the spiel twice over at each table before pouring them a glass from the jug with pieces of the fruit floating in it.

The water itself was interesting, and smelled more of honeydew than it tasted, but there was a light hint to it. "I have to make this at home," was the opinion I heard repeated at each new customer's discovery.

The lady who had been there when I arrived turned out to be the only regular during my meal. All other customers that arrived had been lured in for the first time, just as I was. When I elected to bother this poor regular for her opinion she said the tea is excellent (especially the green tea), and as a self-proclaimed foodie, she extolled the virtues of the menu.

I made my choice of the daily special, since the Bento Boxes start at 2pm, and it was only slightly after noon. An appetizer was immediately whisked out: fresh whole-grain bread and red pepper hummus, served alongside a salad of greens, shredded carrot and cabbage, with a fresh-tasting dressing, garnished with pomegranate seeds. Not only pretty, it was delicious.

My waitress returned with my ordered pot of earl grey soon after, served with milk and sugar. The details of the set are adorable. The pot was yellow, with Chinese dragons curved around it. I was given a choice of milk and sugar or honey and lemon. I chose the former. The milk was served in a tiny creamer, decorated with Venetian masks. The sugar bowl, as unconcerned with matching as the rest, was topped with a tiny dried rosebud. Little tea cookies were served alongside the milk and sugar. Crumbly, buttery, and delicious.

The lunch special didn't take long to arrive either, and looked good enough that it took me a lot of willpower to pick up my camera instead of my fork.

The salad was tart, and not as warm as I thought it would be, but not cold. The brown rice was a little hard for my tastes. The bitterness of the greens was as advertised, and the quail was delicious.

In all, it was less food than I was expecting, but then again I'm the kind of girl that has to stop herself from getting thirds. The meal was delicious, and well-prepared, and the benefit of its smaller size (aside from the obvious smaller waist that comes of it) would definitely have to be the room left for dessert.

Which, at The Red Tea Box, I'd put first before all (including the tea). It's just that good.

Though the waitress recommended the toblerone cake (for my caramel sweet tooth) I chose the Honey Saffron Caramel Cake for my dessert. It looked like the icing would be stiff, but it was soft and creamy. The cake itself was delicious, including the bits of saffron. The icing was a bit overpowering for the rest of the cake after I ate the first bit. That being said, I would definitely return here for this cake, and to sample the rest of their assortment.

The Red Tea Box was a wonderful experience. I would come back for the cakes, and doubly so for the cozy atmosphere. It's a perfect little gem of a place on Queen West.

Now to go back and try their lunch bento's...Date time?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Red Hairring

How many of you have a favourite product? Something you use all the time? Something that you would be incredibly put-out should they discontinue it? And then they do?


Lush does that all the time, the most recent being Sweet Japanese Girl, a face bar I swear by. Gone.


Feria did the same thing to my hair dye. But while I've found a replacement for Lush's face bar, I have yet to find a box dye comparable to R76 and it's frustrating. Everything is too dark, or not saturated enough, and I've been hemming hawing over what I'm doing next. The logical decision?

Off to the salon I go!

Yes yes, girly. I know. I'm not at salons very often. Dying your hair red means you're in for regular upkeep, and I can't afford the pro treatments every four-to-six. Even though I am a redhead by nature, it's not exactly fire engine red.

Here's me before:

I'm getting the full treatment, thanks to a few phone calls and meetings. Daddario salon is half-sponsoring me in exchange for appearing on their website. Soon, with my reddened hair and a new set of extensions, I will be posing all over their online domain (one page, realistically).

I've had my hair done at Daddario before with my last extensions, and I keep coming back whenever I get the urge for a 'salon experience' (about twice a year). It's a great little studio on the second level of Yonge St. and features a pretty blonde on the front poster ( Hi Brittnee!), and a headless blonde inside...

And then there's Timothy, my favouritest hairdresser ever. He listens, he makes suggestions appropriate to my look (and not his preferences), and doesn't insist...like some hairdressers I've dealt with in the past. And he's fierce...I mean, come on:

After we're all said and done here I'm going to take a look through my contacts and send over some pictures of girls 'for approval' on their website. In theory they pick the girls, do up their hair for a huge discount, and boom: salon feature.

Now I just have to remember how to deal with a full mane like this!

Tim's a ghost! Ninja-hairdresser! Whoosh~!
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