When I posted a couple burlesque shots to my Facebook page a couple days ago, a friend of mine commented “A burlesque performer you actually like?”
That was never in doubt to me. I tend not to agonize about leaving something that had no value or meaning remaining. So yes, I miss a fair number of folks from the scene, as performers and friends: Kylie, Bella, Waxie, Lily, Jesse, the entire crew at the Can Can… a sizable list including this lot in the pictures.
But then there’s the rest, the acts that left me cold and wore me down whenever I had to bite my tongue on my opinions because to do otherwise was discouraged. It was a community, after all, and we didn’t call out the poor performers or the veterans who were coasting on old routines. It was better to wait and hope. So I nodded when I heard that she was amazing (the first ten times I saw that act) and agreed that it took a lot of courage (which I knew first hand, but also knew it wasn’t that hard being the seventh on a bill) and, yes, the warmth of her smile (which almost made up for the terror in her eyes).
I miss people and moments. I miss the praise and rush of compliments when I posted pictures.
I don’t miss the sense of obligation I felt or the frustration of being one photographer among many.
And as much as I wish I’d shot the Land of the Sweets… no. I’m not paying to capture anyone else’s artistic visions.
It’s been a year away from the scene, a year recovering.