Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Today is your last chance to nominate me for the “I Woke Up Like This” Golden Pastie award! Thank you!


Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Rehearse with your costume as soon as possible.

Burlesque is very costume-driven. Your costume can shape your choreography and vice versa. Phantom clothing comes off so much faster and easier than the real thing. So, rehearse in your costume elements, or reasonable facsimiles, as early in the process as possible and you’ll discover all the problems and treasures all that much sooner.

M2

Published in: on 29 August 2014 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In September

Dear Constant Reader,

You will have THREE (so far) chances to see me perform in September.

First up is The Teaseday Club on Tuesday, September 2nd. I’ll be performing my newest act, The Faerie Queen, and an act to be chosen by you, my Constant Reader. Get your pick in by midnight tonight! And buy your tickets before midnight and save $5.

Betty Blaize, Scratch, and I will be appearing at The House of Mood in Pawtucket, RI on September 13th. I don’t have the details yet, but I’ll certainly let you know.

Here’s a special bonus: on Tuesday, September 23rd, B.A.B.E. is presenting a Student Showcase! You’ll see students from the current Burlesque Your Way class present their creations, plus some alumnae coming back to strut their stuff.

And of course, I’ll be performing at The New York Burlesque Festival on Thursday, September 25th at The Bell House. Don’t forget to nominate me for the “I Woke Up Like This” Golden Pastie award!

M2

Published in: on 26 August 2014 at 2:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Please nominate me for the New York Burlesque Festival’s “I Woke Up Like This” Golden Pastie award! Nominations are open until August 29th!


Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Do something nice for yourself today.

M2

Published in: on 22 August 2014 at 10:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Teasing Teaseday

Dear Constant Reader,

First things first: please nominate me for the New York Burlesque Festival’s “I Woke Up Like This” Golden Pastie award! Nominations are open until August 29th and you can vote once per device.


I will be performing at The Teaseday Club on Tuesday, September 2nd. And I am going to give YOU, my constant reader, the ability to choose one of my acts! Some of my most popular acts are listed here on my website. Just comment on this post with the one you want to see and I’ll go with the majority vote*! I’ll give you until Tuesday the 26th to express your preference.

And don’t forget to buy your tickets in my name. They’re only $10 if you buy them by August 26th (that’s next Tuesday).

M2
* Subject to reality, approval by the producer, &c.

Published in: on 21 August 2014 at 11:10 am  Comments (2)  
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Shameless Promotion

Dear Constant Reader,

If you will permit me a moment of self-promotion…


Tonight at the Cambridge YMCA Theatre The Boston Babydolls are presenting a special preview/open dress rehearsal of Madame Burlesque. All tickets are only $10! The show will run Thursday through Saturday at the regular prices. We’ve been wowing them on the road all summer with versions of this show and we’re happy to be bring it to the home audience.


I will be performing at The Teaseday Club on Tuesday, September 2nd. Please buy your tickets in my name.


Please nominate me for the New York Burlesque Festival’s “I Woke Up Like This” Golden Pastie award! Nominations are open until August 29th and you can vote once per device.

Thank you everyone!

M2

Published in: on 20 August 2014 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The NJ Burlesque Festival

Dear Constant Reader,

Before I get to our exciting adventure, I just wanted to mention that I’ll be performing at The New York Burlesque Festival! If that weren’t exciting enough, I’m eligible for a Golden Pastie Award. I’m aiming for the “I Woke Up Like This Award”. Please nominate me in that category! (http://www.thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com/goldenpasties2.php) If I’m a finalist, I’ll come up with a nice thank you. If I actually win, there will be a super-special treat.

Back to your regularly scheduled missive…

This weekend Scratch, Betty, Stella, and I went to Asbury Park, NJ to perform in the first ever NJ Burlesque Festival. We spent Friday night in Manhattan (sorry, no wacky adventures to speak of) and headed down early Saturday morning to get caught in the inevitable Shore traffic.

We were scheduled to be teaching classes all afternoon at The Comic Crypt. Since we’d been told there was a small stage, theatrical lighting, and a sound system, I assumed it was a comedy club. I was wrong. It was a comic book shop with a tiny performance venue, home of Ink and Paint Burlesque. It was adorable!

But no one had signed up for the first class, so Stella, Betty, and I did a little exploring while Scratch prepared either to teach or do some work (the latter as it turned out). We went to Red Bank and restrained ourselves at The Cheese Cave, amongst some other window shopping. We returned to see if I had any students for my boa class. And when the answer was no, Scratch took off with Mr. Khon, the event’s producer and we dancers rehearsed our number for the night. Betty did have students for her choreography class and the rest of us amused ourselves with milkshakes at Sonic (don’t judge; Sonic is very rare in the Boston area).

After a break at the hotel, we headed for Asbury Lanes. Most of us had performed there last summer, but Betty has never been there. It’s an odd space — the stage is set up smack in the middle of the bowling lanes. There’s a lounge between the stage and the pin-resetting equipment to use as a dressing room. It’s crowded, but everyone was friendly and trying to make sure there was enough space for all.

We unpacked our pink boxes and were planning to do a run on stage when… Betty couldn’t find her character shoes. She was sure she had packed them, but they were absolutely not in the box. With a bit of panic and in desperation, she asked the dressing room at large if anyone wore her size shoe and had a pair to spare. Luna Chase came to her rescue. Not only did the shoes fit, they were even character shoes. With rhinestones on the heels.

Crisis averted! We did a run on the stage to made sure the sound guy knew our cue and nobody (like me) died moving around the pink boxes. Then we had quite a while to kill until the show even started and then we were closing out the show. Off to the boardwalk!

We set off in quest of Korean tacos that someone (Jess Distress?) had recommended, but ended up at a seafood place instead. Lobster chowder, softshell crabs, Jersey tomatoes, by the ocean on a cool and pleasant night. What could be more summery than that?

I only saw the first half of the show myself and then I was backstage, so I saw those performers both before & after they performed (and got a report from Scratch). What I saw was quite good. Here’s a brief recap (and it’s briefer than it was before WordPress ate my first attempt):

The show was hosted by Neil O’Fortune & The Luvely Rae.

  • Lily Stitches: A Harley Quinn chair dance. Her musicality was fantastic! I’m pretty sure those were Dangrrrous Design cage panties with assels.
  • Dollface Dagger: Slow & sexy strip. Great stripper’s push-up. I was delighted at the end of the night to see that she had used one of those storage ottomans to sit on during the act and now was now packing into it. We of the Pink Boxes approve.
  • Niki Tiki: A slinky classic strip. She had this great black & white ostrich wrap. I have no idea how her headdress stayed in place the whole time.
  • Grandma Fun: A tropical-flavored fan dance.
  • Scratch: A little “Martini Time” magic.
  • Vivi Noir: An energetic striptease I first saw at The Teaseday Club. This lady is a favorite of mine, on-stage & backstage.
  • Minnie d’Moocha: The Featured NJ Performer with a classic strip involving a big fur boa.

(There was an intermission here and we went backstage, so my notes get even sketchier)

    • Luna Chase: A Disney Snow White strip
    • Foxy Squire: Lana from Archer
    • Jess Distress: I know she went out dressed as school girl and came back covered in blood. I have no idea what happened in between. Scratch said she did some fire eating and other flamey tricks. She won my heart by covering her performance space with a tarp and taking other precautions to protect the rest of us from her stage blood.
    • Attica Wilde: She went out covered in pink balloons and came back covered in gold glitter.
    • Delilah: Presented the ethereal La Mort du Corbeau.
    • Minnie d’Moocha: Displaying her versatility of style with a Moaning Myrtle act (with Lily Stitches as the basilisk)
    • The Boston Babydolls: We performed “Factory Girls”. You can see what it looked like at The Ohio Burlesque Festival.

There was a bit of a panic during the curtain call trying to get our bras & panel skirts from the stage kittens in time to get redressed before they called our name. As it was, we were late — and braless.

After the show, we had a well-deserved drink and posed for some pictures with adoring fans. After packing up & loading out, Betty & Stella hit the dance floor while Scratch talked shop with Jaysin the Magician (who was overseeing Niki Tiki’s merch table and baffling passers-by with his card tricks) and I kibitzed.

Overall, a very good first festival! The organizers should be proud of themselves.

And here’s proof we were there:

M2

Published in: on 19 August 2014 at 11:16 am  Comments (2)  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m on my way to the NJ Burlesque Festival, but it wouldn’t be Friday without your tip!

Expect any media coverage to get 3 things wrong.

M2

Published in: on 15 August 2014 at 11:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Show on the Road: Monday 8/4

Dear Constant Reader,

(Read about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.)

We were all quite desirous of getting home as soon as we possibly could, so we decided to get up pretty early and avail ourselves of the not-very-good breakfast provided by the motel. Ah, for the Holiday Inn Express of Sellinsgrove!

Before we left town, we had to make a quick detour.

Yup, we did a drive-by of Pennsic.

It was an uneventful drive. We were slowly working our way through the ubiquitous Pennsylvania roadwork when we saw….

Once the roadwork permitted, Scratch caught up with it, but I didn’t get a good picture. Sad. Probably my only encounter ever with the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

Soon, we stopped at a gas station and what should pull into the neighboring parking lot, but…

The good folks driving it saw us gaping and came over to say hi, ask about the nearby restaurant, and give us #hellonbuns keychains. How cool is that?

And just to prove that we really had a close, personal encounter:

We broke our trip in Wilkes-Barre where Scratch had found a deli/tchotchke emporium that seemed promising. They had an overwhelming number of sandwiches, excellent baked goods, and an array of knicknacks. I picked up a magnet for the filing cabinet at B.A.B.E. with a saucy redhead proclaiming “The boobs are real. The smile is fake.” Kind of sums me up.

Nothing more exciting to report for the rest of the trip, thank goodness, and there was minimal Babydolls screaming like goats screaming like humans. By 8:30pm we had completely unloaded the Babydollmobile into the studio and headed for our respective homes.

M2

Published in: on 14 August 2014 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Show on the Road: Sunday 8/3

Dear Constant Reader,

(Read about Friday and Saturday)

Before I start, I’d just like to point out that the restaurant of our Holiday Inn in Cleveland had a 16th-century Italian monastic secretary in the foyer. Seriously.

Some of my loyal readers will squeal with delight as I did.

We had a much shorter drive today, only going to Pittsburgh from Cleveland. We decided to have brunch at the Beachland Ballroom (where we performed the night before), having been told that it was the best brunch in Cleveland. The menu certainly looked interesting and the pickled veggies that garnished Scratch’s Bloody Ninja were so good we asked for more.

However, it took us almost an hour to get our food (and our waitress appeared to be avoiding us) and when it arrived it was clear that at least some of it had been sitting awhile. Scratch’s waffles were cold and my chicken was tough. The biscuits were, however, terrific as promised. Despite the massive delay, we were on the road only a few minutes behind schedule (probably because everyone was starving at that point). If we’re ever in Cleveland again, I’d give them another chance.

We were almost to the Rex in Pittsburgh dead on time when Dr. Nightmare (that’s the GPS) got confused and sent us well out of our way. We crossed bridges, went up steep hills, saw an amazing panorama of the city, and finally got back on track.

Chris Rickert of Rickert & Beagle Books was waiting by the stage door to help us load in. She’s a big fan and most of the reason we play Pittsburgh in the first place. We unloaded, set up, and did everything we could to get ready before the tech guys arrived.

This time we did take some pictures backstage. Here’s our dressing room:

And here’s a dark picture of everyone hanging out on stage, waiting for the next thing to do:

The next thing turned out to be dinner. We all wanted to eat at the place with the world’s most secure bathroom key from last year, but they weren’t open yet. Instead we went next door to a Thai(ish) place and I was still able to have stir-fried chicken & veggies. By the way, the photo to the right is the impressive garnish that adorned my plate. There’s 3 different vegetables in that confection.

The show was a lot of fun, despite everyone being tired and some level of unhealthy. We’re grateful to our special guests Lita D’Vargas (burlesque) and Sadi (bellydance), and Annie the Merch Girl. You might remember Lita as our Stage Kitten last year. I’m particularly grateful to Lita for doing a comedy bit with Scratch while I frantically changed for my fan dance. I don’t know how I managed Friday night with only about half that amount of time.

The venue wanted a certain number of tickets sold and I’m pleased to say we beat that number — on a Sunday! The reception from the audience was great — there was even a group trying to convince us to move to Pittsburgh. The Rex would like us to come back soon for a Friday or Saturday night.

I know you’re dying to hear about the condition of my screen after two days on the roof and a lot of rain. Well, not great, despite all the plastic wrapping. It was going to be okay for the show, but the frame was warped and the paper was still damp in places and flecked with an unfortunate murky color. And this is where it ended up after the show.

Poor thing! It’s served me well for many shows.

We had an hour to go to get to our hotel, so we bid Chris a fond farewell, eagerly accepting a bottle of mead that her finacé had made, and headed off into the night.

At the Ohio Burlesque Festival, one of the vendors, Bombshell Cupcakes, was giving the performers a cupcake. Big beautiful cupcakes, you just had to have a performer’s badge. We all took advantage of this, of course, but saved them for a little Sunday Social at our hotel. I got the “Junk in her Trunk” cupcake — chocolate cake with cookie dough filling, vanilla icing, sprinkled with something delicious, and garnished with a Reese’s cup, the full-size kind. That should give you some idea of scale. It was slightly the worse for wear, having rattling around in the cooler since Saturday night, but so delicious. Stella got the “Sugar Baby” and Scratch & Brigitte “Miss American Pie”, graced with a mini apple pie. We probably would have had the mead too, but realized we had no corkscrew. Must remedy that for the next trip.

Tomorrow, the long drive home!

M2

Published in: on 13 August 2014 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Show On the Road: Saturday 8/2

Dear Constant Reader,

(Read about Friday here.)

On Saturday of our little adventure, we awoke bright and early and availed ourselves of the fine breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express. I’m not being sarcastic. It was the best hotel we stayed in the whole trip. And there were biscuits and sausage gravy and warm cinnamon rolls.

Before we hit the road there was a brief stop for more trash bags, some duct tape, and cold medicine, which both Scratch & Stella were needing at this point. Scratch was good enough (or delirious enough) to buy us each a roll of duct tape that fit our personalities. Can you match the duct tape to the burlesque dancer? (that’s bacon, mustaches, and leopard, just in case you can’t tell) When we were sure the pink boxes were good & sealed up, we headed off for Cleveland and the Ohio Burlesque Festival.

On the way, we stopped at McDonald’s to use the rest room (we don’t actually ever *eat* at McDonald’s). Scratch was wearing his custom bowling shirt, seen below.

On his way into the men’s room, he found himself face-to-face with a guy coming out. Said guy was wearing a T-shirt with “Jesus Christ: The Real Thing” in Coca-Cola style lettering. He looked at the name and devil image on the shirt and said with not a little malice “You think that’s funny?” I guess we’re not in Boston anymore!

Because Scratch was feeling kind, we stopped at Stella’s favorite restaurant for lunch!

Everyone was making fun of me because I got a salad at an Arby’s. I’d like to point out that it was a salad with fried chicken, bacon, and cheese in it. Their meat sandwiches were probably healthier…

We were making good time and keeping an eye out for a gas station, when, like the day before, the skies grew black and suddenly opened up. The previous day’s rain was NOTHING compared to this storm. Thunder, lightening, torrential downpour, high winds. Cars were pulling off the highway — visibility was terribly. Then *hailstones*! And the hydroplaning. And just to make it super-fun, there was a non-zero chance of running out of gas in all this.

Just as the storm abated, we pulled into a travel plaza. Whew!

But after we got back on the road it started up again for a while, though not as bad — no hail at least.

We got to our hotel in Cleveland unharmed and Brigitte drove with Scratch to drop him off at the class he was teaching at 3:30. I was awfully surprised when they both came back shortly thereafter. See, someone in charge had thought that Scratch’s class started at 3 and when he wasn’t there by 3:15, sent all his students away. He arrived at 3:25 to find the venue in the process of being shut down since classes were over for the day. So, if you wanted to take his class on contracts, sorry about that. It wasn’t his fault.

We headed out to the Beachland Ballroom for the last night of the Ohio Burlesque Festival. I’m pleased to say that despite the incredible storm, our pink boxes remained snug and dry in their trash bags. After doing a little tech rehearsal, we headed to the BBQ joint across the street for some dinner. Sadly, they had no actual BBQ at that time, but the wings were quite good.

There were a lot fewer performers than last year, which made for a much less crowded dressing room. Unfortunately, in trying to keep our pink boxes out of the way of the other performers, we managed to set up right in the path of the guys running cases from storage to the bar. C’est la vie.

The Boston Babydolls were featured performers, so not on until the end of the show. However, Scratch managed to wrangle me a spot as a solo performer to debut my Faerie Queen act. Stella & Brigitte watched the show, but I was too nervous to do anything but pace the dressing room a lot. I would have liked to have seen the show — I heard there were a lot of good performers and of course, I always like watching Scratch MC — but I needed to just focus on my act.

(Unless noted, the following performance photos are courtesy of the Ohio Burlesque Festival)
Finally, it was time for me to go on stage. I think the act went well. It was a very different style from everything that had been presented that night. I mean, I was using 16th century dance music (Celeste Giglio, if you’re curious). I honestly don’t remember the audience reaction during, but many people came up to me after to say how beautiful it was. And Brigitte & Stella said I nailed it. And they’ve seen it in *very* rough shape in rehearsal.

Photo by Cool Cleveland

This act has been a long time in development and I couldn’t have done it alone. Big thanks (in no particular order) to Aaron Macks for music consultation, Cassandra Annati for the fan fabrication, Whisper de Corvo for creating the headdress, Jeff McBride for magic coaching, Katie and her crew for cleaning up all my debris, the Ohio Burlesque Festival for taking a chance on me without a video or even a proper application, and, of course, Scratch for direction, costume design assistance, and just about everything.

Then it was time for us all to get Factory Girl-ed up for our star turn on stage.


Here we are in our adorable overalls as factory workers by day. Note the pink boxes!


And her we are after our transformation into sexy burlesque dancers at night! This is the famous “rawr” section of the number.

Then we hustled back into some costume to run out into the audience to catch the Golden Glamazon, Sydni Deveraux, burn up the stage!

After the curtain call, we repacked our pink boxes (trash bags inside as well as outside — after that rain we were going belt & braces). The others mocked me badly for twisting up the excess plastic on the top of my box into an origami rose. Hey, I’m called the Martha Stewart of Burlesque for a reason.

Then we headed out to My Friends Deli for a post-show snack (potato pancakes and apple pie!). Many of the cast & crew from the festival eventually arrived, but we were exhausted and didn’t stick around too, too late.

Tomorrow, on to Pittsburgh!

M2

Published in: on 12 August 2014 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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