Dear Constant Reader,
Way too early Friday morning we headed off for Los Angeles. I won’t bore you with details of the travel. Once we finally arrived, Scratch went off to visit an old friend while I rehearsed, took a bath, and napped. Not necessarily in that order.
That night we were performing in Peepshow Menagerie‘s Spacetease: Dimensions of Time & Tease, their Dr. Who tribute show. When Scratch first told me the theme, I was stumped. You know that I’m a classic burlesque kind of gal. What on earth could I do that was appropriate? He reminded me of an old act that I’d done only once many years ago. Change the focus and a little costume revamp… Excellent.
Before we got to the venue, I had to try an In & Out Burger. Yes, for the first time. I haven’t become a total convert, but I would do that again.
Fais Do Do, the venue, is a big club with a nice dressing room. Well, I’m told it was a pit the month before and it had just been improved. I guess we got lucky on timing. It was really nice to just be able to relax and focus on the single act I was performing. We had a late start because of some technical/production issues. There was a band to open, so burlesque portion of the show started much later than I’m used to, but it didn’t particularly bother me –I was a guest at this party.
Not long before he was to go on, Scratch unpacked his magic trick to set it up and discovered that a key component had shattered in transit, probably from the cold of the baggage hold, since everything else was fine. That was exciting. There was quite a bit of running around and some cursing. So if you had seen the act before and wondered why his lowball glass was a plastic cup, that’s why. And remember — always check your equipment well before you go on stage…
The show itself had a script tying all the acts together with several actors advancing the plot. Scratch started hosting the show and performing “Martini Time” (demonstrating the principle of “bigger on the inside”). He was interrupted in his hosting duties by the appearance of a villain, the TARDIS (yes, really, right on stage), the Third Doctor (played by Wolfgang Wolfwhistle) plus a number of companions.
I’m not going to recreate the whole story for you, but here’s a bullet point list of performers and acts (I might have things a little out of order). I’m not exquisitely well-versed in things Dr. Who, having only seen the first 3 seasons of the new show, so some of the references & characters were lost on me and I had to ask Scratch.
Caramel Knowledge: Madame Vastra
Mae Lust: an 18th clockwork automaton (“The Girl in the Fireplace”)
Mercury Troy: a Cat Nun from New Earth
Me: I’ll tell you about that later
Lemi Atom: The Souffle Girl
Mr. Snapper: Capt. Jack Harkness (this was one of my favorites)
Holly Go Darkly with tally marks all over her body (“The Silence”)
Georgia O’Queef: Queen of the Daleks
Glama Sutra: “Hello Sweetie!”
Gretna Grenade: The Girl Who Waited
Jessabelle Thunder: Cyberwoman
Scarlett Letter: Missy
My act was to “Howlin'”, a rockabilly song by The Spectres (some of whom have gone on to become The Wages of Sin). I had made a big pink circle skirt for the original act and worn it with a letter jacket. Change out the jacket, make a sequined pink top, add pink shoes, and voila, Rose Tyler in “The Idiot’s Lantern”. I am so sad I didn’t take a picture of the ensemble, since I was pretty proud of it all. You can see a rehearsal shot here. Hopefully there will be pictures from the show someday.
One of the things I think is important about fandom-based acts (or pop culture acts or “nerdlesque”) is that it be a good act, even if you don’t know the fandom, so that was my goal here. I hope I succeeded, but I can’t tell because the majority of the audience were Dr. Who fans. And my big reveal was especially for them — let’s just say that the song is about a big Bad Wolf… But right before I got to that point, a guy in the audience yelled “I ship you, Rose Tyler!” High praise indeed.
After it all was over and the cast had their curtain call, there was a special guest sort of tacked on at the end. She was a German burlesque performer making her L.A. debut and bring filmed for reality TV. It was a pretty standard, no surprises, glamour strip with fans and a big champagne glass. Kind of anticlimactic after all the silly fun we’d just had.
Big thanks to Scarlett Letter and Chris Beyond for letting us play in their show and the entire cast for being so welcoming to a couple of East Coasters. It was a huge amount of fun and a great start to our little trip.
It was very late by the time we got back to our hotel, foreshadowing the rest of our trip…