Being a showgirl while seems glamorous and joyful, has a dark side. when you decide to be a performer you get to see the worst of the internet, sometimes out of your own fanbase. You can put your heart and soul into your craft, you can live and breath glitter & fire, and want no other life but this of a traveling performer....But this dream costs your pound of flesh for the demons....Like an anime school girl picking up dangerous powers without knowing the consequences: You can take up a Stagename, but it comes at a price.
When you take up the feathery glitter banner, don your pastied pseudonym & step into the stage lights your name & image become very public, very quickly, and life becomes very much less private than you may be familiar with. It comes with the territory, as to be successful, publicity & marketing is everything. In fact some say publicity & Marketing are often valued over talent & technique.
You are in the public eye. It's part of Showbiz.
Your Stage name is on flyers, posters, while your headshots may grace banners, and (in Mine & Candy Mudoons case) Billboards! AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE INTERNET!
I owe 85% of my career in burlesque/vaudeville to the internet, Particularly social media. it's free & EVERYONE uses it. If i hadn't been tagged in a photo of me performing in Ocala, I never would have been asked to perform in a show in Daytona, if it hadn't been for a twitter post i never would have performed in an Orlando competition that landed me a gig performing in the Orlando Museum of Art, and this the snowball effect of rolling and growing, creating the opportunities and networking that lead to my West Palm Debut, returning guest performances in Tampa, Gainesville & Orlando. Then there's the matter of the small town I live in. as popularity and success of my locally based shows grow, the more people talk. it's not liking be a national or international celebrity, We aren't saying we all are bigshots. But we are saying part of your life isn't yours anymore. and it is exciting and charming, this minuscule glimpse at fame, but it means EVERYONE in town "Knows" you. Complete strangers ask you "ain't you her" and point at a show flyer in starbucks, young women at Walmart in the middle of the night you don't remember come up to you while grasping your toilet paper & cheap coffee creamer wanting to know when your next show is, your bank teller get's a bit more winky than normal, drunks at bars loudly introduce you like your best friend because they have seen you perform "the kind of stuff I could never do!" Disasterific Dallas experienced a splendidly charming & quaint fangirling in her favor at a gas station.
It seems almost magical & is a huge confidence booster for the insecure such as myself. But the ying has a yang, and if you haven't picked up yet that all these are also signs of the cost, the price.
Good side: Everyone knows you! Bad side: EVERYONE KNOWS YOU!
Your stage name keeps you safe. it helps your create the persona/character you wear onstage like silken stockings, and helps you keep it from your muggle life.
People can be nasty, cruel & viscous. Some just are those things. some are psychotic. some driven by jealousy, hatred, oppression & Prejudice. Whatever their motive, sometimes people are HORRID!
Being in the public eye takes away your privacy and opens you up to harassment of multiple kinds.
But a stage name helps dramatically. I'm not saying it is foolproof, but Oh Sweet Loki, does it help!
It allows the performer to participate in normal activities without compromising their location, like selective clubs or group that may exclude "scandalous" behavior, having a Muggle job that raises an eye at outside activities or have morality clauses in the handbook. your Stagename is your Loophole. If their name ends up in the local paper or on an internet, it doesn't give away your location to predators, like your muggle name would in the right reverse lookup engine. It prevents victims of domestic abuse be able to enjoy performing without fear of seeing a traumatizing face in the audience unexpectedly. A Stage name allows LGTB performers, not just burlesque or gogo girls, but drag performers & trans community members perform acts(yes, as in beyond drag, that is just the most popular form, think outside the box!) and use a pseudonym that represents who they feel they are or who they want & need to be onstage. If their birth name is difficult to pronounce, or is just plain boring & unmarketable, a stage name can be more memorable for industry professionals to remember. So keeping all that in mind think how ONE nasty little cyber bully can ruin everything if you were to use your muggle name, or one media slip up in a local newspaper. Then everything can crumble: you lose your job, opportunities are lost, you become the outcast of your religious circle or lose friend or even your family. People you aren't comfortable with show up to every show uninvited thus causing a toll on you, and interferes with your acts perfection. or worse: Stalkers.
Stalkers, Bullies, bribers, predators, Identity thieves, committers of hate crimes and any other psychotic horror movie situational baddie you can think of. You are now in their sites, target locked and loaded. all they need is your full muggle name and the city you live in, then they have you. the internet has so many ways of spilling it's guts like a teen keeping a secret at a Taylor Swift concert with her best friends waiting in line with her. it screeches all the goods at the top of its lungs: your phone number, your workplace, addresses, your family members, your lover(s), your friends, your pastor, your boss, all of it, just minus the "oh em geeeeee, totes! swiftie selfie! omg omg omg!"
Take me for example: After keeping Burlesque secret from my family for two years, when they found out I was pretty much disowned for almost over a year, some still don't have anything to do with "The Stripper" that they are "unfortunately" related to. *but that's another story for another night children*
If i hadn't had used a stage name after my debut I would have lost a measly muggle job i was living off of in college. I had been in the media and was asked about it after someone tattled to a manager who questioned me. The loophole in suck-your-soul-out-big-box corporation's Morality clause was that it wasn't my legal name and I wasn't wearing anything that resembled the uniform or my name badge.
Then there's Sexual harassment, sexual harassment, sexual harassment.....unsolicited sexual harassment because being a performer or being LGBT you are "Asking for it".......
I can write a whole book on SEXUAL HARASSMENT that you have to deal with being a performer.
so let's leave a bookmark here_-_-_-_-_-_-_ and i'll come back to it in another blog!
Also, it's a pain when working retail. Many a time I slipped up or being the only girl in the entire town at one time with black Bettie Page bangs resulted in some people showing up to that muggle job "just to talk"...many wanting to "be like you & do it too" which gets annoying when you are barely getting by yourself.
Then there' the real problem I have: Cyber bullies. some I know from prior conflict, some I don't know and wouldn't recognize them in a crowd. Particularly in my situation: a clique who seem to have a need, no a LUST to be a pain in my retro pantied tushy.
I wouldn't be surprised if they had joined to their ranks the general trolls one gathers from fans that want more attention than normal, and even a rather catty ex employer and her own collective of meangirls (whose wrath ensues when you don't worship the ground they walk on and stand up to them...They wear pink on Tuesdays, really, they have! lol.) or newbies who are bitter you get gigs they wanted, then the general body & Slut shamers that crawl out of the woodwork. (Perfect strangers messaging me & attacking me because of their insecurities, personal religious issues with the human body and to oppress women because of Promiscuity, because how dare we feminist not fear or shame our bodies! Oh no? am I too curvy for your personal taste so I MUST be too fat for burlesque? AND my ankles are showing! Le Gasp! And look how many fucks I give?! There flies my last one like a rogue snitch that outfoxed a seeker upon the Quidditch field! The amount of slut shaming & Body Shaming i endure is ridiculous....but it comes with the territory.) A small group (or two?) who must have spent HOURS watching, trolling and falsely reporting my performer profile & FanPage on Facebook OVER & OVER. They hypocritically slutshamed & name called like teenagers, I honestly think these gals and their male friend have nothing better to do than to hate me, nothing in their life must be as fulfilling as obsessing over reporting pictures of my pastied bussums within seconds of posting. I blocked them, but they still have their own secondary profiles and friends who gang up on me that i can't identify. I did get a laugh out of their facebook cyber bullying though, very creative hashtags! In fact i intend to use one myself for a marketing tactic it's so quaint.
But in all seriousness: I have been threatened by this group, online & in person. They threatened me with physical violence like common thugs. So much so I did not attend some of my favourite local event of RHPS once or twice because I knew they would be there. NO ONE should live like that.
No one should fear this bullshit. And i don't want any one close to me to suffer the same just because of a connection to me.
Thankfully these people can't just google my stage name and find my address if they felt craving to vandalize or commit a crime towards me other than slander and other minute issues they've caused me.
Your stage name & Your painted face is your image, your moneymaker, but more importantly your saftey.
Never before have their false reports have ever been approved and none of my content has been taken down as breaking guidelines on social media.
However now they reported my name as fake, and Facebook suspended my account to enforce their subjective Name Policy. A policy to "prevent cyber bullying" the customer service email employee receiving my wrath assured me it "was for my safety" a laugh! A laugh I tell ye!
I turned in the accurate needed documentation, and then some, 13 times, and yet I have yet to get my account back.
According to Facebook, this is to help build "authentic" community, but in fact it undermines the online communities we have built over the past several years using our stage names. Our chosen names are an important part of our identities and how we interact with our peers and audiences.
Although our names might not be our "legal" birth names, they are still an integral part of our identities onstage and in business. These are the names we are known by and call each other and ourselves. We build our networks, community, and audience under the names we have chosen, and forcing us to switch our names after years of operating under them has caused nothing but confusion and pain by preventing us from presenting our profiles under the names we have built them up with. not to mention the sheer pestering of having to revert to slower ways of communication and research when running shows and charity involvement like I do.
A petition i Signed made an excellent point;
Many Facebook users - performers or otherwise - use names that are not their "legal names" to help protect their privacy and anonymity, with good reason. Victims of abuse, trans people, queer people who are not able to be safely "out," and performers alike need to be able to socialize, connect, and build communities on social media safely. By forcing us to use our "real" names, it opens the door to harassment, abuse, and violence. Facebook claims that the restriction on using "real" names "helps keep our community safe" (https://www.facebook.com/help/112146705538576), but in fact this restriction enables our communities to be attacked and degraded, both online and off.
Facebook has encouraged performers to create or transition to "Like" pages, but even Facebook admits that pages typically only reach ~16% of their audience, unless they pay to "promote" a post. .
We are not large companies with deep pockets, and we cannot afford to pay $30 or more per post to make sure that our friends and audiences see our posts. We are not businesses selling products, we are encouraging our friends to come to our events and performances, promoting charitable causes, and making calls to political action, with occasional mundane daily life updates like every other Facebook user.
Many (and, perhaps, most) performers use their Facebook accounts to network, get booked and book each other, produce events, and communicate with each other, because it is simpler, safer, and more effective than divulging our personal email addresses or phone numbers with others. By preventing us from accessing our accounts under our chosen names, this hinders our ability to make a living and develop our performance careers.
Finally, when getting locked out of our accounts, Facebook tells us that "it looks like you're not using your real name," before requiring us to change it. We cannot emphasize enough that Facebook is a poor arbiter of what is or isn't a "real name." Performers with legitimate-appearing names get locked out of their accounts while people with account names like "Jane ICanBeBadAllByMyself Doe" go without scrutiny. And, unfortunately, for those who choose not to use their legal names for reasons of privacy, safety, or preference, there is no way to access their account to download and preserve all their photos and information that they have built up on Facebook over the years without bypassing the name change requirement.
Mark Zuckerberg , Facebooks Ceo & owner states " Real name does not mean your legal name. Your real name is whatever you go by and what your friends call you. If your friends all call you by a nickname and you want to use that name on Facebook, you should be able to do that."
I intend to use the name Lady Mekaella DeMure, I have provided paperwork on multiple occasions and Facebook has yet to allow me this right. If i used my muggle name for performer purposes what if my loved ones were targeted and attacked? My personal life would no longer be private or my own. But nor would theirs....What would Facebook say then? Provide ID?
And while most of this is "woe is me, pity the stressed out showgirl" please take into consideration The LGBT community, victims of sexual/domestic violence and abuse, Native Americans trying to keep their traditions alive & others who will be marginalized and suffer from this issue.
This policy and process is subjective and often Victim blaming and not FoolProof. It hurts more than it helps.
Your Stage name protects. It separates your Muggle & Showgirl lives. It protects you. Don't overlook the importance of a pseudonym when in the public eye.
There's my pound of flesh....Goodnight.
Welcome to the blog!
The fire loving dancer has some gossip from the wings, before she goes onstage!