Facebook informed me today I'd joined 6 years ago, which confused me at first, as I'd joined at university (back when you could only join Facebook with a university email address). Then I realised, it was 6 years ago that ReeRee Rockette joined Facebook.
ReeRee Rockette was born out necessity, I'd already been blogging (but without publishing my face online), but I'd started working part time in cabaret and I was scared the pictures would get found by my students (I was a teacher).
I'd seen a cry for help on facebook for an usherette for a new cabaret night. I'd been dipping my toe in the pin-up world but I didn't at all think I was suitable, but decided to be brave and ask for more information. At first I was concerned I was too large for the uniform, as I was a busty 12-14, but I was encouraged to come and try out for the job of "Rockette". I definitely felt I wasn't pretty enough or thin enough, but I like to do things that scare me.
When I became ReeRee Rockette I couldn't have predicted where the persona would take me. I literally had the opportunity to create a new me. Not for the first time (I changed my name by deed poll at 15) but just as powerful the second time as the time before.
ReeRee became a persona that was more confident and felt prettier than I ever used to feel. She worked in the burlesque community, and quickly became part of a creative and welcoming world that she'd had no idea existed, let alone considered joining. I was a stage manager at many burlesque events run by different people, and my confidence soared knowing that I was respected for my ability to make a show run as it should. I remember that time with love (as well as stress of course!).
I worked in beautiful venues, including an 8 show run in the West End (meeting people like Kylie and Will Young). Going from the world of education to theatre was such a journey! It allowed me to find out that I was capable of success outside of my chosen career. That I wasn't limited to teaching. Just a critical lesson for me to believe.
Here I am walking a cat walk in a fetish club, smearing a man with food and cream as I show off the clothes. It was such a whole new world for a girl who felt chunky and ugly.
So I've been ReeRee Rockette for over 6 years now, which blows my mind somewhat, and that random part time job in cabaret ended up taking me forward to having my own lipstick brand, being featured in many magazines, opening a hair salon, having a column in a tattoo magazine, and talking at professional events. All as ReeRee Rockette. I have to be honest, I've teared up somewhat writing this, just realising what's happened over the last 6 years.
We really can create a new path for ourselves if we're willing to be bold. I was a very average person, who craved to feel regular and to fit in. I couldn't have predicted the path my life has taken if you'd offered me a lot of cash to do so. And yet...here I am.
Would I ever retire from being ReeRee Rockette? 6 years on and she's no longer a persona as such. But she is the 'work' me, she's the real me, but not all of me.
The online world has changed so much since I started blogging over 6 years ago, gosh, probably over 7, maybe 8, and it's so exciting to see how technology provides us with new opportunities. The internet has made the world smaller and more accessible than ever before.
I remember this gorgeous lady recognising me from instagram, while I was shopping in Las vegas, which felt incredible. We all have these opportunities now to make the world a tiny place. How powerful that can make us.
Creating and becoming ReeRee has been amazing. I've blossomed in confidence, and changed my life forever. I'm somewhat honoured by anyone who has helped me along the way, either by reading my rambling, buying a product or service from me, or connecting with me online.
Happy 6th Birthday to me!