I have learned a lot through trial and error as I've been performing. I'm sure the life of a bellydancer looks extremely glamorous. What no one tells you is that you're actually carrying your own body weight in costuming, jewelry and fake hair. It's hot, it takes forever to put together, and it takes just as long to undo. You have to get a system going or you'll be forever getting ready and getting undone again. I've already blogged about my hair, and so here is another piece of my performance routine.
I've managed pare down what I take to a performance to this list of items:
- Makeup: I don't take my entire makeup collection. As I put on my performance makeup, I either put it back in my big train case to stay home, or it goes into a small bag to the gig. To-go items are: lash glue, powder, lipstick, eyeliner, blotting papers. If I need more than that... well, I must have really screwed up my original application or I'm expecting something catastrophic to happen to my face.
- Extra bindis: They fall off and get lost, and besides, what makeup snafu can't be remedied by putting more glittery things on your face?
- Water and a Snack (I never go anywhere without packing a snack!)
- Safety Pins
- Bobby Pins
- Dance slippers
Pretty basic, right? Most dancers have a similar packing list for their bag. I have a tote with a ton of pockets that keeps all the small things like zills under control.
Here is where it gets important for me. I have learned that as much as I love dressing up and dancing, when I'm done, I want to be completely done. All of a sudden, I guess because of the adrenaline and the sweating, I feel like I am going to die if I stay in costume another minute. This is exacerbated by the fact that my favorite coverup is made of polyester. There's nothing like being hot and sweaty and then essentially wrapping yourself in plastic.
So here are my tools for post-performance comfort:
- Fan and a Handkerchief to get post-performance sweatiness under control
- Tank Top
- A mostly empty tote bag
- Wet wipes (great for feet after dancing barefoot)
As soon as it's reasonable, I go to the bathroom (or backstage, if I have that luxury) and get out of my coin bra and take the heaviest and most annoying costume pieces off. I pull the tank top on over my choli and at this point I am presentable enough to be without my sweltering cover up. More importantly I'm about a million times more comfortable and I'm ready to go out to get food.
So there's my list ... what's in YOUR bag?