So glad you’ve asked. When deciding on a website name three years ago, I knew I had the right one when it made me chortle; Fake Flamenco. It was a week before a writers’ conference and my memoir professor proclaimed, you *will* have a website. My eyebrows raised, I *will*? I wonder how I’ll do that? Finding a platform was easy, but an unique title was more difficult. How could I capture my Spanish interest, travel, passion, creativity, and imperfection in a name? The two words I chose represent my history and my way of life.
The story began when I saw the Carlos Saura film Carmen for the first time; the flamenco version of the classic opera. I was 18. As my Spanish classmates and I watched the TV with VCR, the dancers onscreen were smoldering and going up in flames. That evening my first year of college, a flamenco spark entered my heart.
The next year’s Spanish class, we were asked to present reports. I chose flamenco. I decided to combine descriptions of the dance in Spanish with a short demonstration. I had absolutely no background or experience in flamenco. That didn’t deter me in the least. That’s where bluster comes in. I dressed the part; a blouse, and skirt with an eyelet petticoat underneath. I didn’t play music or have the class clap the rhythm. I just went for it, creating the beat with my feet, lifting and shaking my skirts, ending with an arm curved above my head and a hearty ¡Olé! My favorite part was when our Peruvian professor asked me where I’d learned the flamenco. Carlos Saura taught me everything I know… thus my Fake Flamenco was born.
Sadly, decades later I have not attended a flamenco class. I had the chance when I studied in Spain, but I was too broke to afford it. Okay, I spent all my pesetas on clothes and Spanish tapas. But, here in Madison during dinner preparations, I dance my kitchen flamenco and it makes me happy. Listening to legendary cantaor (flamenco singer) Carmen Linares, I twirl my wrists above my head, lower an arm and say olé! Although she doesn’t know it, she and I sing flamenco duets in the car on errands.
I think that writing, blogging, and publishing books is a lot like Fake Flamenco. I’ll keep pretending until I reach my goals and have my memoir in your hands.
I’ll pretend I can, until I do. ¡Olé! –Rebecca
P.S. Where in your life does “fake it until you make it” come in handy?