Almost Famous Like Pippin

Don’t confuse fame with success.

Madonna is one, Helen Keller is the other.

Erma Bombeck


“I’d love to watch Pippin!” my husband said and I pretend not to hear–quietly thrilled to get a birthday gift idea straight from the horse’s mouth.  His parents used to take him to watch all the original Broadway productions in his teens.  It was like coming full circle dragging our own teens–wondering “Who/What is Pippin?”–to watch this revival of a young man’s search for fulfillment and happiness.  For who wants to be famous?  Apparently every human with the urge to eat and procreate.

My favorite characters in the show include the grandmother who drops her old crone cape for a trapeze act with a muscle man, the stepmother who artfully insists  that even a queen is just another housewife and mother “Just like all you housewives and mothers out there!”, and the not so young widow who lets herself be bullied by the narrator, aware she’s getting old and can easily lose the part.

Ah, the yearnings of youth… the hankering for excitement and success that always remains a distant mirage!  As we grow older yet continue to feel the occasional pangs of such longing, what do we tell those  who miss the point of a grand finale stripped off fancy glitter and spectacular fireworks?

And what’s great about being less than famous?

1. You can be yourself–or explore your many selves–without worry if your choices fit the persona you’re supposed to be selling.

2. You’re not a commodity that’s hostage to arbitrary social rules and trends.

3. Your friends still like you even if you don’t tweet, post, comment, share, like,… at all.

Click on “Leave a comment” (above left) to add you take.






© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Kinky Boots

It’s a good thing I was born a girl,

otherwise I’d be a drag queen.

Dolly Parton


What’s not to love about a Broadway show saved by the glamour of drag? Especially since drag queens live and breathe the power of fighting for one’s passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes.

Based on a little seen movie from 2005, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is about a bloke named Charlie who inherits his father’s outdated shoe factory.   He finds inspiration in Lola, a drag queen, who loves to dress up but could never find heels to hold her manly weight.  Their collaboration to develop fetishwear that captures this market niche saves his factory from the depths of red–in finances and frumpy style.

Harvey Feirstein who writes the book version says his interest in Kinky Boots is the question “What is a man?”   Swishy Lola and seriously straight Charlie may be the unlikeliest of friends, yet life dealt them similar cards, parental expectations inflicting shared wounds.  Is it any less difficult to forgive others as ourselves?  Feirstein recommends drag as the best mask for all:  “When I take it off, nobody knows who I am.  When I put it on, I can be anyone I want.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you stand up for what you believe in.





© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother



Lucky Guy

Sometimes I’ve believed 

as many as six impossible things

before breakfast.

Lewis Carroll


Two decades ago, my husband confidently announced the wedding date he had chosen guarantees that he will always remember our anniversary.  Lately, giving him frank reminders 2 weeks prior and 2 days prior only made me feel like an iPhone alert to no effect.   So the night before D-day, I finally asked, “Do you want to go out tomorrow?”  He was still sweetly oblivious to the occasion and asks, “Why?  We’re going out with friends this weekend anyway.”  Grrrr!  I finally confronted my laptop to make dinner reservations and grab the last 2 seats to Nora Ephron’s latest (and last) Broadway play, Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks–which my Prince Charming had summarily dismissed as unlikely at the last minute.

My daughter woke me up too early the next morning with a three course breakfast on a rolling cart, complete with flower candles, hot tea, and a printed menu.  She couldn’t convince her dad, the early bird, to get over his aversion to breakfast (and lounging) in bed, so she and I fed each other the meal she has lovingly prepared.  She lay her head on my tummy and asked if I remember how a decade ago she was floating around in it.   I meant it when I told her “You are my best anniversary present!” expecting her usual “I know.”  Instead, she said, “I’m your gift for putting up with Dada!”  And so very well worth it!

Lucky I don’t heed my mom’s advice to “marry him first and change him later.”

Lucky the qualities I married him for are still the same qualities I love about him today, despite seeing the other side of the coin.

Lucky I’ve learned to keep eyes open to the beauty of the one I wake up to everyday–because wouldn’t you know, being married to Mr. Early Bird means I usually wake up to me!

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share how you’ve been so lucky.




© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother



Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?

If I’d followed all the rules,

I’d never have gotten anywhere.

Marilyn Monroe

The Marilyn Monroe Look by Sharon Birke

The solo play Jackie off Broadway is a witty yet disturbing exploration of submission, power, and the hypocrisy of everyday life by Elfriede Jelinek.  When I think of Jackie’s respectable public persona, I can’t help wonder how she denied her Marilyn inside.

From Pamela Keogh’s book Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?  Timeless Lessons on Love, Power and Style:

Jackie and Marilyn came of age in the 1950s when socially acceptable roles of women were few.  Yet they both moved beyond the strictures of their time to become icons. In terms of style, Jackie and Marilyn are opposites–light and dark.  Day and night.  Sophistication and playful naiveté. If Jackie symbolized well-bred propriety, Marilyn was sex.  While this way of thinking dictates that women are one of the other, the fact is that most of us, really, are a mixture of both.

The Jackie woman is strong, intelligent, socially impeccable, well married, and likely a mother who takes care of others.  The Marilyn Gal is vulnerable, emotionally unpredictable, enjoys sex and high living, celebrity, glamour, fake lashes and champagne.  She has seen both the glamorous and unseemly sides of the world so she is understanding of the foibles of human nature.  She takes people and situations as they are:  hoping for the best, but not that surprised when things don’t work out.  Plus, you know she’s got a few gorgeous photographs of herself stashed somewhere.

…like this Powerful Goddess here! by the Women’s Project Theater runs until March 31, 2013 at the New York City Center.  You’ll love Tina Benko–a powerhouse of a solo performer!!!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you channel your inner Jackie and Marilyn.


The Marilyn Monroe Look by Sharon Birke

The Marilyn Monroe Look by Sharon Birke

The Marilyn Monroe Look by Sharon Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

The Marilyn Monroe Look by Sharon Birke

Another big Thank You to Wendy Boiardi for glorious makeup!


The Art of Seduction

To love oneself is

the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Oscar Wilde

What I love about Kitty Cavalier’s NYC School of Charm and Cheek is that it uses the Art of Seduction to bring fun women together and, more importantly, to teach you the value of seducing your own delicious self!  Drawing from the pain she endured from a lifetime of learning to make peace with her body, Kitty birthed classes that help every woman transform her own perception of whatever shape, age and size she’s in.  Kitty writes:

All of us can use a little peek at how to  use the art of seduction in our day to day life.  Why?  None of us has been taught how to use this as a way to add more pleasure and success to our existence.  When we hear the word “seduction”, our minds instantly go to manipulation and sex.  But seduction is not just something that occurs between lovers.  True seduction is a way of making life itself your lover, and committing to the truest, most everlasting marriage you will ever have – the Divine as it expresses itself through you.

Kitty’s class Seduction is a Spiritual Practice resumes next week in NYC:

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what or who has helped you love what you’ve got.

© Sharon Birke

Let’s photograph the seductress in you!

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: