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Friday, August 19, 2011

Look Mom, I'm In Penthouse!

One day you are wishing you could own a pair of feather burlesque fans, and then before you know it, you find your name in Penthouse.

Aren't wishes funny that that way?

A few months ago a woman came to my burlesque class to check it out. After the class she contacted me to say that she is an editor at Penthouse Magazine, and that she is writing a three page story on burlesque. And she wanted to feature me in the article. Me. In Penthouse.

It made me remember being a kid, every Saturday going to Stewart's gas station/general store with my family for an ice cream cone. As I was waiting for my family to receive their sundaes, I would wander around the shop with my black raspberry cone, sometimes stopping to look at the magazine rack. My eyes could never help but wander to the top of the rack, where the headlines of Playboy, Penthouse, and various other magazines wrapped in plastic lay hidden behind a cardboard insert, blocking their images from sight. I remember feeling that familiar tingle of intrigue and curiosity, mixed with a hearty helping of eternal damnation, wondering what lay beyond that thin piece of cardboard. I also recall feeling like I needed to go bathe myself in the baptismal bowl at church because of it.

Fast forward 20 years later to my office in corporate America, where and article like this would be my greatest fear come to life. Not even because of the nature of the magazine, but because not a soul other than my husband and a few friends knew about my burlesque performances. If the IT department had glanced at my internet history however, it would take them mere seconds to figure it out. I would spend hours at work looking at performer's websites, watching videos, daydreaming about costumes; quickly closing the window when someone would walk in, terrified of anyone discovering this part of me. Not because I thought it was shameful, but because I had so little faith that that could be for me. That I would have enough courage to live out this desire to be a part of the burlesque world loud and proud, a desire that was completely contrary to where I thought my life "should" be going.

Today, I couldn't be more proud of being featured in Penthouse. Believe me, five years ago when I embarked on this journey, if I had seen this article in my future I would probably have run the other way. But I held this sucker up with a grin from ear to ear on my last Skype date with my parents (selectively turning the pages), and they were so proud of me! Not just because it is my first piece of national press, but because it is a physical representation of how completely I have trusted my deepest truth, however and wherever it may lead.

Why is it that sometimes our deepest truths, the things we want more than anything in the world, are often the things we try most desperately to hide? What's up with that? Have you ever felt like there is a window in your soul that gets X'd out everytime someone walks in the room? Like you are sitting on a suitcase with something alive inside trying to get out?

I encourage you today to slowly unbutton whatever covers
your deepest truth, and expose as little or as much of it as you like. If you find your name in a piece of pornography someday as a result, you can always blame it on me.

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