Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday and happy October!

Today’s tip comes from Scratch. We’re about to open a big show with a lot of costume changes (that would be The Wrathskellar — do you have tickets yet?) and we needed a way for our Wardrobe Mistresses to keep track of all the costumes and get every costume piece reunited properly when they are cleaned up after the act.

Put a tag on a hanger listing all the costume pieces for an act.

Each act got an index card. The performer wrote on it their character name, the act name, and listed each costume element that went on the hanger. Things like shoes and pasties don’t live on a hanger, so they didn’t have to get written down.

After reinforcing the corner of the card with a piece of tape, we punched a hole in it and threaded a rubber band through. The rubber band went over the hook of the hanger. Any small items, like gloves or panties, were attached to the hanger with binder clips.

Once we get to the theatre (Sunday!), we’ll hang everything up in run order and it should be super-simple to maintain all the costumes.

You can do this for storing your costumes as well, if you’re lucky enough to have enough space to hang them all up. The costume closet in my atelier is to small, alas.


Published in: on 2 October 2015 at 11:18 am  Leave a Comment  

October Approaches

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s almost October and there is so much going on! I’m in such a tizzy because there are so many fabulous events that I’m involved with or will be attending.

First up is The Boston BeauTease (that’s us with our shiny new name) appearing at RuffleCon, an alternative fashion conference, on Friday, October 2nd. You know how much I *love* costumes and we’re bringing out some of our most elaborate ones for this show. I’m so excited to be presenting a new act with my hand-me-down Catherine D’Lish costume. Although I’ve performed in it before:
I’ve never felt like it really had its own number. Now it does. No spoilers here; you’ll just have to come to RuffleCon or wait patiently until I bring it to Boston.

Next is The Teaseday Club. I won’t be performing, but B.A.B.E. alumna Elsa Riot will! And Morning Glory will be defending her Cookie Queen title for the second month!

And then comes the event we’ve all been waiting for… The Wrathskellar returns! We’ve been thwarted in our attempts to present our long-form Halloween show for two years now. I cannot express how happy I am that our beloved decrepit cabaret is opening again. I cannot wait to become The Diva and luxuriate in the star’s dressing room again. One (un)lucky person gets to join me there each night for an intimate moment…

It’s the same story of ambition, jealousy, and murder, with the best acts of the previous four years, plus some brand-new ones and a few surprises. I just know this is going to be the best year yet!

Want a sneak preview? I’ve got a few pictures from rehearsals on Facebook, but trust me, you want to see the real thing.

As if he wasn’t busy enough with The Wrathskellar, Scratch is also directing The Woman in Black: A Ghost Play.
We saw this play in London a few years ago and were completely blown away. It’s truly scary and is one of my favorite pieces of theatre (ignore the movie — it’s not as clever or as frightening). I can’t wait to see it brought to the stage here! It’s at the Davis Square Theatre at the beginning of the week, while The Wrathskellar is on the weekends.

Lastly, but only when the calendar is concerned, is Striptober! on Monday, October 19th. It’s B.A.B.E.‘s semi-annual student showcase and this one is going to be particularly great! We’ve got senior students like Alice Azul and Sadie Hunter strutting their stuff, but also the students of Scratch’s Mystery Box class. They each received a box of items from which they had to create a brand-new routine. Here’s they are immediately after opening their boxes:
I am dying to see what they created! It’s been kept a total mystery!

Will I see you this October?


Published in: on 28 September 2015 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! The weather is getting noticeably cooler & drier here in New England. While lower humidity means less hair frizz, it means more static. Here’s your tip:

To remove static cling, rub a wire hanger on your garment.

It’s simple science; the metal in the hanger discharges the static. There actually is a use for wire hangers! Just don’t keep your costumes on them…


Published in: on 25 September 2015 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Things change

Dear Constant Reader,

Recently we changed our name from The Boston Babydolls to The Boston BeauTease. This has necessitated all sorts of other changes: email, social media, &c. and of course, business cards.

You might recall that several years ago Scratch gave us these fabulous personalized business cards, which now have the wrong information on them.

Last night he presented us with these new cards:

Sure, they look generic, but flip them over and…

I just love these cartoons of us!


Published in: on 24 September 2015 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Keep a snack in your dance bag.

You never know when you might be hit with a blood sugar crash at rehearsal or when traffic on the way to a gig is so bad that you don’t have time to grab dinner.

I like nuts because they keep well, are high in protein, low in sugar, and aren’t messy. I can just toss a small packet into my bag until I need it. Fruit is pretty good too, but it’s not like you can just keep an peach in your bag for a couple of weeks until the need arises.

Last year I shared my recipe for a nut mix. These days I make it with hazelnuts instead of walnuts and often cut out the chocolate. I buy raw nuts in bulk and toast them, but that’s just me. I think they taste better toasted, but some like them raw.

If you’re buying packets of nuts, make sure they’re not prepared with oil (greasy!) or salted (just what you don’t want if you’re performing…) or sweetened (we’re trying to avoid crashing).


Published in: on 18 September 2015 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

This tip is a hard one to practice, probably the hardest one I’ve given you yet. I have a lot of trouble with it myself.

Don’t take rejection personally.


Published in: on 11 September 2015 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  


Dear Constant Reader,

A couple of years ago we were asked to open for The Devil’s Carnival movie. You can read all about it here. At that time we knew next to nothing about the movie, but tried to pick an act with the right feel. After a few minutes into the movie, I said to Scratch “‘Creepy Doll’ would have been perfect.” So, I was delighted when we learned the second movie, Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, was coming to The Coolidge Corner Theatre and their tour manager contacted us to open again and specifically requested “Creepy Doll”.

Last night, Scratch & Devora packed up the creepy dollhouse and headed over to The Coolidge. I was tagging along as stage kitten/Wrathskeller promoter/person who really wanted to see the movie.

We thought we were in Theatre 2 upstairs, where there are wings, which were kind of necessary for the act. Turns out the movie was massively oversold and they moved it into the much larger Theatre 1 downstairs. The staff were fabulous and found us a three-panel screen to make a temporary wing, as well as helping to heft the dollhouse up onto stage (there’s a ramp to the stage in the Theatre 2…).

The performance was a little rocky on the tech side. We had to make some last minute adjustments with the dollhouse and the wrong song briefly got played at the wrong time, but Scratch & D.D. took it in stride. I thought they did a great job and so did the audience, judging from the number of compliments in person and on-line.

Here’s the first picture I found of Herr Bücher and The Lost Girl, snagged from Broke Horror Fan

The movie itself was quite good, even better than the first one. I’d recommend seeing it, especially if you’re a fan of disturbing musicals. This episode, as you might expect from the title, mostly takes place in Heaven. I just loved the look of it. It had a very 1940’s Hollywood feel, but there were these unsettling, but terrifically designed, totalitarian posters all over. I felt like the slinky black dress I was wearing for the evening, while not so Carnivalesque, fit in pretty well with Heaven’s nightclub. I think my favorite song was “Hoof and Lap” (I’m a sucker for German cabaret), but there several very good ones. After the movie, there was a brief Q&A with the creators and it was disconcerting to hear Lucifer’s voice come from Terrance Zdunich’s completely human face.

Totally worth not getting to bed until 2AM. Even if it does mean a less than coherent missive today.


Published in: on 10 September 2015 at 12:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I just discovered I missed noting my 200th Friday Tip, so let’s celebrate magical number 203! Here’s it is!

If you spill beads or rhinestones on carpet, put a old stocking over the end of the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner and suck them back to safety.

Spilling your sparklies is no fun at all, but it happens. If your workspace has a hard floor, you can easily sweep them up, but carpet pile traps your tiny shiny things. No one wants to pick them up one by one. Fortunately, it’s easy to rescue them!

Secure the stocking foot over the hose with a rubber band. Don’t stretch it too tight; you actually want a little of the stocking to get sucked inside the hose to make a cup. Then start vacuuming. Before turning the power off, turn the end of the hose up, so the rhinestones don’t fall out once the suction is cut off. Then turn the hose down over a container and the stray stones will fall out. Repeat until you’ve gotten all the little buggers out of the carpet.

And that’s why they call me The Martha Stewart of Burlesque.


Published in: on 4 September 2015 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  

10 Years and a New Name

Dear Constant Reader,

Last night was the last Harburlesque performance and we used the opportunity for a big bash to celebrate 10 years of The Boston Babydolls. Hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 10 years. It feels like forever — and just yesterday. We’ve weathered some storms, but for the most part, it’s been a fabulous time. Our current group is just amazing.

We had all 6 Babydolls dancing to live music provided by our good friends from The Legendary VuDu Krewe. For the most part everyone did their favorite standards from The Mardi Gras Ball. I never get tired of doing my fan dance to “Harlem Nocturne”. I know there are burlesque dancers out there who say that it’s a clichéd piece of music, but, oh, when there’s a sax player right there, it’s magic.

Brigitte created an adorable trio that she, Stella, and I performed for the first time last night. It was so much fun — I think you’ll be seeing it again in the future!

After both shows were done, we scrambled up to the top deck to twist & shimmy to The WaveRiders. I got there just as they started up “Sing, Sing, Sing”, our usual curtain call music. All the troupe members, plus our Wrathskellar cast, just kept dancing through a surf version of “Bad Romance” (our private pre-show warm up song) and “Miserlou” (which we use for shimmy drills). It’s was perfect!

So, about that new name. Scratch had been talking about changing our name to celebrate our decade in burlesque, since “Babydolls” is a little juvenile and we’re decidedly not. Then we got a series of nasty letters from the attorneys for a Texas-based strip club chain called “Baby Dolls Saloon”, who seemed to think that people were going to confuse the two businesses.

We took the opportunity and last night we announced the new name. We are now The Boston BeauTease. (That’s Beauties, only with more Tease.) I think my house will still remain Stately Babydoll Manor — it’s an ancestral name, after all.

Thank you everyone who has been with us on this journey so far and here’s to the next decade!


Published in: on 3 September 2015 at 10:45 am  Comments (1)  


Dear Constant Reader,

Please join me tomorrow for …

The Last Boston Babydolls Show…Ever!

What’s this?! No more Boston Babydolls?! That’s right folks, you heard it here first.  After 10 years, we’re changing our name.  What you won’t hear first is what the new name is… unless you’re one of the folks who join us for our Tenth Anniversary Party on Wednesday, September 2.

Joining us as we cruise Boston Harbor on The Music City Queen are four of our good friends from The Legendary VuDu Krewe.  These musical miracle workers will be accompanying our dancers as they strip the night away! On the upper deck, you can twist and shout yourself to the surfin’ tunes of The WaveRiders!

There’s a cash bar on-board to keep the party going, and while some light snacks are available for sale, you probably want to have dinner first.

Tickets are available on-line or by calling (617) 934-2610.  We board at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept. 2 from Gate C at Rowes Wharf, right behind The Boston Harbor Hotel.  We set sail at 7:30pm, and will have you back at the dock by 10pm.
If you miss this party, you’ll have to wait another 10 years for one like it!


Published in: on 1 September 2015 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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