It is with much excitement, a teensy bit of shy hesitation, and a whole lotta uncertainty about the reception that awaits . . . that I unveil to the world my showgirl alter ego, Vivienne Vermillion. I've actually been secretly molding her for a few months now, waiting til the timing was just right and I had all the pieces together, and the chance to get some good photos taken for her debut.
Lately I've been obsessed with the world of burlesque. A lot of the motivation for me to actually get out there and start making the connections with the local troupes that I have in recent months is because I'm attempting to build a business that will cater in part to that world, colliding it with the pageant world and the theater world and the dance world. I am just in love with the picture in my mind of a scene playing out in my store on a typical day: There is an elegant burlesque beauty shopping in my store next to a shy teenage girl who maybe has a few self image issues, and they meet as they chat over the sparkly gowns and jewels, the girl tries one on and the burlesque queen encourages her to strut it on the runway, and the girl's whole attitude changes. That's the magic that I know can happen when you mix these worlds, and will happen as soon as I manage to make it all a reality.
I've been to a few burlesque shows recently and every time I left going “Man I wish I could do that!” Alas, I am a married woman, and as much as Gerrard is a very open and understanding guy, I would tend to not feel right showing his wife's ta-tas to the whole city, even if he gave his blessing. However, I still wanted to feel a deeper connection to this community of amazing inspiring female artists. I decided I wanted to have a burlesque persona, to take photos in character, attend shows, and just not pursue a “performance” career. Kinda like the Paris Hilton of burlesque. So I gave it the appropriate amount of consideration, I carefully mulled over name possibilities, I strategized wig colors, I thought about whether my alter ego would be a naughty saucy girl, or a sweet cutsie doll, or a dark dangerous beauty. The exercise of considering all the possibilities for reinventing oneself – or rather inventing an entirely new self without losing the original – was so empowering and thrilling I think I could have come up with twenty different characters.
I knew my inner showgirl would have to be French, and a redhead at least 90% of the time. So the name Vivienne Vermillion found its way into my brain surprisingly easily, especially considering how much I agonized over the name for my business . . . shameless, rhinestone, feathered . . . lime-what?
As plans for this super blow out fashion show/auction I'm planning called BeDecked! come together rapidly, I'm tempted to make that night Vivienne's first official out in public appearance. There's a lot riding on this night, though, for me as a business owner. I do want to appear professional, and as myself for at least most of the night. I've invited investors from a few Angel investment groups around town to the show, so they can see what I'm capable of, and maybe, just maybe the magic of my vision come to life will suck them in and make them want to partner with me in business. So I figure I should probably be available to at least greet them and shake hands as Angelique Ashton, before costume changing into my alter ego. Also, as a Desginer, I want to take my bow and the credit for my work as my true designer self. So its tough to figure our just when in the evening it would be appropriate to become Vivienne, but I have about a month to think it over, so we'll see. If you are at BeDecked! On June 28th, MAYBE, you'll get to meet her.