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Working Through Disappointment 

I don't typically take photos of myself when I'm disappointed. I don't necessarily want to publicly document that feeling, especially when I'm very familiar with the emotions I experience when disappointed. The natural smile here is from bouncing back after plenty of setbacks.

We all know that sure things can fall through. That "we're definitely bringing you back" or "can't wait to book you" doesn't always lead to an actual booking. Performance applications are declined. Someone else gets hired. Photo shoots don't happen because the stars have misaligned.

It's not jut limited to artists and public figures. Everyone experiences disappointment. You have to pay more per month for something than you'd hoped, and it's definitely a bill you can't skip. Your car overheats. You get into an argument with family. Social media makes you feel like you are continually behind in everything.

The positive thing is working through disappointment. That doesn't mean that you're all smiles all the time, but our smart-ape brains are made to learn from things that don't help our survival. Just because we missed out on the dopamine hit this time doesn't mean we're doomed.

Snapper's 5 Tips for Working Through Disappointment

  1. Feel all the feelings. Give yourself a good ten minutes to stew in it. Some bad news we can process a little quicker, but allow yourself some time to really note how much it sucks. Complain to your mate or best pal, get some hits in on your punching bag, grumble around the house. Just stay off social media while you're feeling all the feelings.
  2. Go do something else for a little while. Hit a museum. Sew something. Take a long walk with your dogs. Clean your house. Anything that isn't directly related to the thing that disappointed you is a good idea. There's more to life than this little setback.
  3. When you're ready, review the news that let you down. Get curious about it. What's the exact wording? Does it say, "Sorry, but you really suck and will never work in this town again." Or, "Eep! This year we're going in a different direction." What are the actual words used in the notice?
  4. Take a lesson. Remember that our species has survived by learning from pain. Do you still put your hand on the burner? Your lesson might be that it isn't done until there's a signed contract so maybe save your money until the contract is in place. Maybe you should start planning earlier next time. Perhaps you should make sure you get a confirmation that your information was received when you do this again. 
  5. Keep going. Do the thing you do. Seek opportunities to do your thing. Work to improve in all areas of life.

BONUS: If you're hella bummed and can't shake it, check over some human body rudiments. Eat something. Take a nap. Shower. Exercise. Make some small action, even if it's dusting the television. Talk to a professional if you get stuck in the disappointment phase.

Following these recommendations doesn't mean the setback will automatically disappear. It's not going to change a "no" to a "yes." You're just going to get stronger and maybe bounce back a little easier next time. The lessons will continue to reveal themselves. (While I have a great smile, I'm sure there were a few reasons I didn't make the cheerleading team in high school.)

Lastly, every experience we've had in the past-- positive and negative-- has led us to where we are today.

Hostess With the Mostest... Boa 

Photo by Scott Fisher, makeup and hair by Vivienne Vermuth from Viva Dallas Burlesque Presents Die, Pageant Bitches, Die!

Mr. Snapper and I embarked on a collaboration with Shoshana of Viva Dallas Burlesque last summer-- creating murder mystery burlesque shows. They had to fulfill the needs and wants of the mystery enthusiasts while entertaining the burlesque lovers. Our September debut episode was great, and we learn from each show we do.

Because we have decades in the game as actors, Mr. Snapper and I are currently switching off the heavy lifting of the murder mystery hosting. A scripted show is a different beast from your standard burlesque show, and we participated in a few scripted burlesque shows in Los Angeles before we wrote for Nearly Naked Nutcracker.

I co-hosted the most recent episode with MT Molotov-- he introduced the burlesque acts and dropped some clues and I played detective. I had to assess the clues and reveal information, plus keep the ball rolling on the mystery.

Part of the job entails entertaining the audience while they talk amongst themselves to wager guesses on the murders. I couldn't strip because I had to be ready to get the show back on the road as soon as they were done voting, which can take five to fifteen minutes. I decided to sing, and I brought my big blue boa along for the ride.

Since this show takes a lot of my time and attention (and I don't mind that part), I had to order this gown online. I hemmed it on the fly one day, and discovered at the show that it was still too long for my body. I kept having to lift it to walk, making it tougher to parade the way I'd hoped during my song. (Thanks to physical therapy, my knees endured this sexy squat with the boa.)

I love getting the opportunity to host. I like talking to the audience and having more time to connect with them. 


Red Snapper with blue feather fans in Dallas, photo by Lou O'NealThe first time I performed in Dallas was the summer of 2010, almost three years after my first amateur burlesque performance with a group and four years after I started pole dancing. I'd been back in beginner ballet classes on and off for a few years. (Making beautiful shapes while fan dancing was a great excuse to be more on than off with ballet.)

Before burlesque, I'd earned my stripes as an actor and singer. I did way more acting than singing. I still have dreams of being able to play guitar for an audience, but that's going to require more practicing than I've done in at least five years.

This photo by Lou O'Neal in a hot warehouse in Ft. Worth in summer showcases my beautiful fans designed by Catherine d'Lish and built by Evie Lovelle. I still have those fans. Invest in quality props and costumes and they will last.

The costume was relatively inexpensive compared to my current creations. I sold it to Gwen Ruby a few years ago and it looks incredible on her. I've grown so much as a costumer and performer that I was ready to move along from this costume.

My metabolism has slowed a bit and my flexibility has diminished a bit from the day this photo was snapped. However, that knowing look in my eye is now matched with actual knowingness. While I'm always learning and always working to better engage and delight audiences, I'm so very comfortable when I hit the stage to strip.

No matter where you joined me on this journey, I appreciate you letting me entertain you.