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Bagel Burlesque Expo – Sunday Brunch

I am pleased to announce I will be hosting the Sunday brunch Show of the Montreal Bagel Burlesque Expo on Sunday April 24th, 2016. It will be a neo-burlesque celebration of beauty under all its less traditional forms.

HEADLINERS:
Red Hot Annie (Chicago)
James and the Giant Pasty (Toronto)

ARTISTS:
Bibi Lolo Bang Bang (Montreal)
Coeur De Lyon (Montreal)
Fifi & Foufou (Montreal)
Julie Paquet (Montreal)
Lady Scarlet Pearl (Montreal)
Lillian Bustle (Boston)
Paige la Pearl (Toronto)
Poison Eve (New York)

Hosted by Seska Lee
Stage Kittens: Emily Florence & Florence Emily

Doors: noon
Show: 1 pm

TICKETS

PRICES in advance:
General seat: $25 + fees
VIP seat: $45 + fees
Combo for the 3 shows: $65 + fees
VIP Combo for the 3 shows: $99 + fees

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Seska Trivia

I have a BA in Child Studies and a BA in Psychology. In my twenties I worked as an educational consultant. I have continued my education by taking courses in nutrition, energy healing, mindfulness and online business.

I have been active as a burlesque performer and cabaret producer since 2003.

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my costume for my Welcome to the Jungle number

After recovering from a rare autoimmune disease called Paroxysmal Cold Hemoglobinuria I was inspired to train for a 1/2 marathon. I ran it in 2 hours and 14 minutes in the freezing rain. After a break from exercise I have switched things up and now take daily early morning 40 minute power walks.

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my 1st 5k race

In the fall of 2014  I made my professional theatrical debut in the Segal Centre’s The Graduate.

I’m a former adult industry performer and I wrote an essay on why I do not hide or deny my past here. I have spoken about my personal and professional experiences at SXSW, Concordia University, McGill University, Sexual Attitude Reassessment Seminars and various adult industry conferences.

Yes, that was me on HBO’s Real Sex Xtra : Pornocopia : Going Down in the Valley : Women on Top. The business has changed dramatically from when that was filmed (2004). I cannot provide you with any relevant advice on how to “make it’ in the industry in its current state. It’s changed too much.

I have two cats – Rufus and Martha.

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Rufus on left – Martha on the right

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Simple Yet Glamorous?

My life is simple in that I discovered some mindful and minimalist life strategies that bring balance and serenity to my day-to-day. It’s glamorous in that I love burlesque and I adore creating dazzling, silly performances and shows. Having both in my life brings me much satisfaction and pleasure.

It also means that I find bobby-pins by the door and glitter most everywhere, but that is OK by me. They remind me I’m living the life I want to live.

Perhaps SIMPLICITY & GLAMOUR is an odd combination, but it’s my version of Yin and Yang. They help me embrace LIFE in a BIG JOYFUL way  and I think bringing both into my life is an important part of my journey.

Life is complex.

My simple living and compassionate mindset allows me to meet life’s challenges, express what’s on my mind and in my heart. It’s what keeps me grounded yet able to fly free. It’s what helps me connect to those I love.

Keeping certain things simple lets me bounce around in the complex with joy, gratitude and authenticity. Bounce around in the unpredictability, uncertainty and vulnerability knowing I have a safety net. Having a toolbox of strategies and skills makes me more resilient when sh*t hits the fan – because it will.

So, what do I simplify?

Everything involved in my everyday is structured in a simple way. This took some time. I had to reflect on what I owned and what owned me. I had to think about my possessions and my space and how they made me feel. Yes, I used the Marie Kondo Method. While I’m not a 100 item minimalist, I have downsized in a BIG way. I know each and every one of my belongings and where they live. And I love them all.

My burlesque costumes may have sequins and fancy fringe trim, but they also are chosen and made with simplicity in mind. They are easy to store, maintain and to perform in (and out of). Streamlining my burlesque life means I don’t tear through my space last minute looking for a costume piece or have to create something last minute. I have just what I need. Not more, not less. When I have a show I know I can focus on my performance, deliver as best I can and be present for the entire process.

My internal life?

I simplify that too. It’s absolutely essential in fact because there is a part of my mind that likes to tell stories  – often attaching shame, guilt and fear to them. Then there is my gut that likes to do somersaults. And of course, my heart that likes to race.

I’m betting this all sounds terribly familiar.

Thank goodness there is a solution to this mess of stress and struggle. Mindfulness meditation – it’s the simple antidote to the busy mind poison. Sure, it’s a popular buzz word these days but there is a reason for that. It’s incredibly powerful. It’s an active way of thinking that helps calm the mind. For goodness sake, it creates new neuro-pathways! So freaking neat!

In a nutshell, it’s about observing yourself, your body, your mind’s stories, you name it and not trying to change anything. Experience them without judgement. Let all the weird, uncomfortable and painful sensations and thoughts just be. Then approaching it all – especially yourself – loving kindness. So simple yet so radical.

One of my favourite meditation resources is the work of Tara Brach. She has a wonderful weekly podcast aswell as incredible books I refer to. My therapist suggested I read Tara Brach’s book Radical Acceptance and helped me immensely in developing some equanimity. Something I had been seeking since I was a little girl.

And of course, there is Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. His books on finding peace within the present moment are some of the most accessible and beautiful out there.

I am sure I will write more about these topics in the coming weeks and months (maybe years – who knows!). If there is something specific you would like me to write about with regards to my exploration of simplicity and glamour, let me know!

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

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Where Is Seska?

Wow! It has been a while since I have shared a personal blog entry. It is not that I have not had a personal life. I have. That is one reason I have not written a personal post in some time. I have been busy with living life that I haven’t had much time to write about it. What has been keeping me from writing?

Family

I have been spending A LOT of time with family and loving it so much. Being an aunt is awesome. It has opened me up to so much love that I feel like I might burst. It has also made me work hard on being engaged and present in a whole new way. I find that so rewarding. The downside is that it also involves travel as my niece is not in Montreal. When I am gone it means when I get home I have to play catch up on my different obligations and activities and some stuff has been at the bottom of the to do list. I have re-arranged some things and I should have a better schedule in 2014 once the holidays are over. Regular postings to come!!! Streamlining things!!!  Woo!!!

Burlesque

Speaking of streamlining, a bunch of that has been with regards to burlesque. I have combed through my costume collection a couple of times in the past year and focused my selection for my strongest numbers – ones that I can do at more upscale shows and for private events. This has been a smart move and for the past few months I have been getting more gigs and even making some decent money off of my burlesque activities (decent is subjective of course – in my case it means more money coming in than going out). I have also been hosting more which is something I very much want to pursue in 2014. I like helping to hold a show together and showcase other artists. It is a very good feeling to bring the community together.

Fear & Other Stuff

It also hasn’t been that pressing for me to write about the ups and downs in my life as it was before because there have been a lot less of ups and downs. After a few very tumultuous years things have settled down for me. All my personal work has paid off and I am feeling very grounded and focused. There have been some bumps in the road, but I have dealt with them with a new found sense of equanimity. Thank you three years of therapy and my Buddhist influenced personal development work (mindfulness practices saved my life – truly).

Though I would be really deceiving myself (and you, my readers) if I said I am not also dealing with some fears. Money has been an issue. Depression and anxiety kept me pretty much flat on the floor for many months (on and off) which made working and earning an income pretty inconsistent. I have had to take a hard look at my expenses and the meager ways I can earn in living with adult content these days and look at other streams of revenue.

Last summer things finally came to a head and I did some major emotional and physical housekeeping and have spent much of the past 18 months cutting things and people out of my life, tying up lose ends (filed for the divorce and ended that chapter of my life officially), and creating a new foundation for my life.

Then there is my love life. I have a better understanding of what I want, but I am lacking some confidence. The risk of dating is very real to me. I cannot go about it as discretely as I would like as I have lived a very publicly documented life since 1998. Online dating holds zero interest for me as having online profiles and dealing with emails and strangers reaching out to me is something I have done on a daily basis for many, many years. Playing it light and sleeping around also doesn’t hold much interest for me. You could say I am looking for something new which in this day and age of extensive social networking is not easy to find.

I am in the process of figuring out what it is. I expect I will know it or rather him or her – when I see it. I haven’t given up hope, but I am feeling cautious, even risk averse.  I want to make smart choices and right now being single and solo is all part of this new foundation of mine.

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The Graduate

The Graduate POSTER

The Graduate

A play adapted by Terry Johnson
Based on the novel by Charles Webb
And the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham & Buck Henry
Directed by Andrew Shaver
With original music composed and performed live on stage by Justin Rutledge & Matthew Barber
Starring Luke Humphrey & Brigitte Robinson

Cast

LUKE HUMPHREY
Benjamin


BRIGITTE ROBINSON
Mrs Robinson



GEORGINA BEATY
Elaine


GRAHAM CUTHBERTSON
Hotel Clerk, Priest, Psychiatrist and Company


ALAIN GOULEM
Mr Robinson


MARCEL JEANNIN
Mr. Braddock


SESKA LEE
Stripper and Company


JANE WHEELER
Mrs. Braddock (Mom)



A SEGAL CENTRE PRODUCTION

August 31st, 2014 – September 21st, 2014

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