Dear Constant Reader,
I was delighted to be accepted to perform at the New York Burlesque Festival this year, in The Teaser Party on Thursday night at The Bell House in Brooklyn. This is the same show I played 2 years ago, so I was familiar with the venue.
Thursday morning Scratch & I packed up Super Screen and the backlight and headed for NYC. Super Screen was supposed to ride of the roof, but due to one thing and another, it went into the Babydollmobile. Not ideal, as it just barely fits, but at least I didn’t have to worry about it up top.
Before going to the venue, we dropped in at Minnie Tonka’s place. Minnie had kindly opened her home to out of town performers for a little hospitality. It was a lovely gesture. She had found herself welcomed with open arms when traveling oversees and wanted to do similar. A little fresh fruit crisp, a little conversation, and it was time for my tech rehearsal.
I was pretty nervous about this act. It relies so much on other people (setting the screen, and the light, and then hitting the lighting cues). I shouldn’t have worried. I was in excellent hands with the tech crew. It even turned out that Scratch could do the lighting cues. I left the venue a lot more secure than went I arrived.
Because Scratch has excellent restaurant sense (it’s one of his superpowers), he found a barbecue place within walking distance of our parking space. I picked at a couple of lamb ribs, having returned to nervous, until we went back to the hotel for me to get ready.
With one thing and another, like the GPS having no idea how to deal with Brooklyn, we missed the first few acts and arrived near the climax of Legs Malone’s number. I honestly can’t do much of a recap of the other numbers as I was anxiously waiting for my time to go backstage.
But first, I participated in the Great Tassel Twirl Off. As many people as possible were going to get on the stage and twirl to “Bad Reputation”, led by who else — Jo Boobs.
(Filip Wolak Photography)
A few seconds in, my left tassel simply exploded. The pasties stayed on, but the tassel turned back into its component strands and fell to the stage. Still, I twirled away for the full 3 minutes with the sole remaining tassel. I know that doesn’t sound like very long, but trust me, it is. If you look very careful in the above photo, you can just see my leopard dress in the second row, between Cheeky Cheetah and Ruby Solitaire.
Before I knew it, it was time for my number. Everything went very well! The set up was fast. Super Screen worked perfectly. Scratch hit the lighting cues perfectly. And most importantly, the audience seemed to enjoy it.
(Filip Wolak Photography)
Besides being the debut of Super Screen, this was also the first appearance of what I was calling Baby’s First Merkin. For my non-burlesque readers, a merkin is a g-string without the string. I wanted to present a naked silhouette at the end of the act, without being actually naked (because one can’t be). The waistband of a thong tends to leave a little indent around the hips which is magnified in the shadow. So, I made & wore a merkin for the first time. It stayed on — I’ll call that a success!
After leaving the stage, I got a flying hug from international supermodel Sarah Hartshorne, who I was completely stunned to see. In fact it took me a moment to even realize it was her! That whole out-of-context plus dim lights plus post-performance daze. I was delighted she came out!
The rest of the show was kind of a pleasant blur as I enjoyed the acts on stage and the compliments from people off-stage, had a well-deserved drink and checked out the Scan-A-Rama.
And here’s the curtain call:
I bet you’re all dying to see my act and I won’t keep teasing you too badly. First I really need to thank a bunch of people:
Angie Pontani & Jen Gapay for inviting me to the party.
The Bishop of Burlesque & Scary Ben for making sure my set up went smoothly.
Steven Speliotis for the wonderful video.
And Scratch, for everything.