Adorable Tuscon, AZ based Burlesque star Pisa Cake manages to be gorgeous, cute, and sexy all at the same time. I am loving her costumes, curves, and confidence! Pisa shares how she has not always been so confident, and was made to feel like she wasn’t good enough growing up because she wasn’t, “skinny enough”, as many of us curvy girls have felt. After years of negative body image influence for her mother, her body acceptance story began after she tried her first Burlesque dance class with Black Cherry Burlesque.
Will you please tell me and my CurveInspire readers your name, troupe or city you work in, and facebook or web link?
Pisa Cake, independent performer, Tucson, AZ. My website is http://www.pisacake.net, but it has minimal content right now. Facebook is best: http://www.facebook.com/
pisacakeand I also have Twitter: http://twitter.com/ Pisa_Cake
I’ve been studying burlesque in some way or another for about the past 3 years, but have been performing for about a year.
I saw a burlesque performance at a local gay bar at a 18+ night, and it really resonated with me. I suppose a lot of our stories start this way. It then became one of my goals to pursue burlesque in some way, but obviously, things were on hold until I was 21.Once I could, I began seeing Black Cherry Burlesque every chance I could and was hooked. They’re the only burlesque troupe in our town. At that time, I was too intimidated to do anything about my own aspirations. Plus, I was in college studying Computer Science and had little extra time to much of anything at all. Then, one day back in early 2009, my boyfriend got an advertisement on his MySpace for a dance class Black Cherry was offering, and told me, “You have to do this.” My friend and I started taking the dance classes, which lead to some training, and eventually stage kittening for them. An unfortunate set of misunderstandings and my big mouth (live and learn, kids) lead to me going off on my own. I felt downtrodden and depressed, and had lost my spark.
I was having nightmares constantly. There were so many remorseful and negative feelings surrounding burlesque for me, I let go of it for awhile. I felt like I’d lost a part of myself and missed burlesque so much, but didn’t even know what the next step would be if I wanted to do it on my own. Natasha Noir of Black Cherry Burlesque was a great mentor to me during this time and tried to help guide me, but I felt completely overwhelmed and intimidated in regards to making it on my own.Then “Dangerous Curves Ahead: Burlesque on the Go-Go!” came to town. I hadn’t been to a show in so long and missed it with all my heart. My burlesque flower rebloomed that night. I’m so thankful that show came to Tucson. Quite frankly, I think I would have given up completely if I hadn’t gone that night. Item additional: GiGi La Femme’s spanking act was the hottest thing I had ever seen.I went to Burlycon in October 2010, and the rest is history. That weekend was life-changing and affirming in many ways. People were so loving and accepting there. I did a peer review for an act I had prepared, and got so much encouragement and constructive criticism. Doing what was essentially my world debut in a room full of my idols and other burlesquers of all levels of experience was one of the hardest things I ever done but one of the best things to ever happen to me. At one point during my feedback portion, Tigger! looked at me and said very simply, “Welcome.” It was a powerful moment, especially something like that coming from him.
I took World Famous *BOB*’s “Ultimate Self Confidence” class while at Burlycon. Due to the intimacy and trust that are central tenants of the course, I can’t say much about the content. I was able to talk about things that I never discussed with anyone, and it was cleansing and liberating. Pisa Cake was born that weekend, and there’s been no stopping her since.
Tremendously. I got my shape at a very young age – I hit puberty in 6th grade. I’d always been “big-boned”…I had huge hands and feet, I wore an adult cowboy hat in 2nd grade when I was a cowgirl. But I was more on the side of athletic. Suddenly my boyish muscles were shrouded by great big hips and boobs that seemed to grow at lightning speed. I remember one boy saying, “Fatty, fatty, 2 by 4, suck my dick, you dirty whore.” REALLY? We were in 6th grade.My mother remarried and we moved to Michigan when I was 11. Prior to that, my grandparents had been my central caregivers here in Tucson, and moving away from them killed me. Suddenly, here was this woman who called herself my mother, attempting to “mother” me, and failing miserably at it. I was told, “If you lose 10 lbs, you’d have no problem getting boys to like you.” She constantly compared herself to me, was possessive of my stepfather in relation to me wanting to spend time with him, and fished for compliments (which I refused to give her). She put me on Metabolife, Weight Watchers, Atkins. I truly feel that doing that when I was still a developing teen was really damaging and lead to me gaining even more weight. My body was denied the natural cycle of losing baby fat that it should have gone through.
One of the most damaging moments in our mother-daughter “relationship” was when I had come back to Tucson to visit my grandparents with her, and my aunt came in tandem. I was about 13. Growing up, my aunt told me that my mom was catty, jealous, and competitive to a point that was beyond the normal realm of sisterly fights. Difference was that I was not her sister – I was her DAUGHTER. It was so wrong. We were all out by the pool at my grandma’s house. My mom was doing her usual insecure bullshit, fishing for compliments about how good she looked in her swimsuit. My aunt and I knew exactly what she was doing, and I said, “Actually, I really don’t like that swimsuit” which was bitchy, but I was irritated. She then looked turned to me and began to yell, large pointer claw extended, “I AM TWO SIZES SMALLER THAN YOU! How DARE you say that to me?” My aunt said, “LAUREN, that is your DAUGHTER! What’s wrong with you??” but she kept going on and on, ripping into me and any self-worth I had managed to gather during my delicate pre-teen years.
When I was 15, I went behind my mother’s back and conspired with my grandmother, arranging transport back to Tucson. I hated Michigan. I hated my mother beyond what was normal for a teenage girl. I hated the close-mindedness of our small, hick town. I was done. I told my mother, “I’m move back to Tucson and there is nothing you can do about it” and was on a plane shortly thereafter. Even at 15, I could sense I had to remove myself from this toxic environment. I spent the remainder of my teen years trying to repair the damage my mother caused, while luckily living in a loving environment.
It took a long time after so much negative reinforcement from my mom. I didn’t really start to get comfortable with them until the dance class with Black Cherry. My belly still gets to me every now and again. But every time a gal walks up to me after a show and tells me that I’ve inspired her, I remind myself that the muscles beneath my soft belly allow those bumps and grinds to be carried out. My stomach digests my food and keeps me healthy. And it looks great in a shimmy belt.
I hope our audiences love seeing real women that they can relate to sharing their own definition of beauty with the world. Whether that be thick or thin, petite or amazonanian, it’s all about how you rock it. We represent real women, who come in all shapes, and I LOVE it. Everytime you open a Cosmopolitan or the like, you are told what “beautiful” is…which is often a photoshopped, starving woman that probably has a coke addiction. Every time a woman goes to a burlesque show, she sees beauty defined in multiple ways, and more importantly, in ways she can relate to, and it makes her stronger in her sense of self. I’ve noted that few people in burlesque have had any kind of plastic surgery. We’re mothers, students, professionals, homemakers, and everything in between.My curves have helped me to show other women that you can be sexy even with some lovely lady lumps, and I hope its helped them, even the tiniest bit, to not loathe the natural way their body wants to be.