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!

M2

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

Tomorrow!

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!

M2

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

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! This week’s tip is one I was sure I had given you before, but I guess I didn’t.

Before using anything messy on stage (water, glitter, blood, tissue paper butterflies, &c.) check with the producer *first* for approval. If you get permission, bring whatever supplies are needed to protect the stage and clean up afterwards.

Be considerate of your fellow performers as well as the venue! You don’t want to leave anything on stage that could stain their costumes or cause them to slip. You might need a tarp to contain your detritus, especially if it’s liquid, or a broom or vacuum cleaner, which is the only way to really get rid of glitter.

When I do “French Champagne“, I bring 2 small oriental rugs with rubberized bottoms to catch the champagne I pour over myself. After Red Rum’s mummy number, the stage is covered with talcum powder, but she brings a shop vac to get it all up. Vivi Noir does a glitter pour inside a bath tub. There’s all sorts of creative ways you can keep your mess from messing up anyone else.

M2

Published in: on 28 August 2015 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday!It’s been pouring here in Boston, so let me see if I can come up with a thematic tip… Got it! Here’s your tip:

If you work with liquid in your act, even just a little, remember to pack a towel (for drying off afterward), a plastic bag (for wet costume items), and something to protect the stage (a tarp, a rug, a bathmat, &c.).

M2

Published in: on 21 August 2015 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Upcoming Events

Dear Constant Reader,

I’ve got some upcoming shows & appearances and you should come to all of them!

Think I just take my clothes off on stage? I’m also an award-winning storyteller. I bet you didn’t know that! Next Monday, the 24th, I’ll be at Story Club Boston, telling a true tale inspired by “That One Song”.

The following Wednesday, August 26th is our last regular Harburlesque show. Join me, Brigitte, Stella, and, of course, Scratch for a fun show on the high seas (or at least Boston Harbor).

I said “regular” because our very last Harburlesque show will be September 2nd and it’s going to be a blow-out for The Boston Babydolls’ 10th anniversary! All 6 Boston Babydolls will be dancing for your pleasure to live jazz from our friends in The Vudu Krewe. When you’re not watching burlesque, enjoy surf music from The Waveriders and go-go dancing from The Wrathskellar Wenches. We’ll have a special announcement at the party. Be the first to know what it is!

In September I’m thrilled to be performing at Corinne Sothern’s Burlesque Speakeasy in Providence.

And then it’s time for The Wrathskellar! Our haunting cabaret returns to the Davis Square theatre. You really don’t want to miss this year’s show. The Lost Girl will be so sad if you don’t come and you wouldn’t want to make her sad, would you?

I hope to see you in the audience soon!

M2

Published in: on 19 August 2015 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Hanky

Dear Constant Reader,

Last month I advised you to carry a handkerchief and shared a few from my collection. Here is the newest acquisition:
Or at least one corner of it (plus my shadow…).

It’s shadow work embroidery on fine cotton batiste. Shadow embroidery is done on the wrong side of the fabric with a herringbone stitch, so on the right side all you see is an outline and the mere shadow of the stitches underneath. It doesn’t photograph so well, so you’ll have to trust me that it’s lovely and delicate.

I’m particularly pleased because I made it myself and it’s been a long time since I finished a piece of embroidery. My Unfinished Projects drawer is fuller than I care to admit and I’m working it down. In between rehearsing and working on costumes for The Wrathskellar, of course.

M2

Published in: on 18 August 2015 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

It’s just fabric. Go ahead and cut it.

I can’t be the only one who gets paralyzed at the thought of cutting into some gorgeous fabric and so the costume project gets delayed and delayed from fear of ruining the material.

M2

Published in: on 14 August 2015 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Improvisation requires rehearsal.

Improvisation is a skill and thus needs practice like any other sort of stagecraft. The ability to improvise an act is not the same as just getting up on stage and winging it. You need to practice the abilities that make it possible to go out on stage, make up a dance, and look like it’s easy.

M2

Published in: on 7 August 2015 at 11:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Video Project Week the Last

Dear Constant Reader,

As July reaches a close, so does my video project end. In 31 days, I’ve watched 31 (plus a couple) videos. This wasn’t a full week, but the videos I watched were:

  • Lilly Bulle – Classic Fan Dance. Scratch found this one on a search for something else and knew I hadn’t seen it.
  • Jo Weldon – Godzilla. I’ve always wanted to see this one. I think I’ve now seen 3 Godzilla acts to this same song, all different, all delightful, but this was the first.
  • Michelle L’amour – Ritual Calling of the Gods of Fuck. To end as I began. It was prefect timing that Blaze posted a link to this video the day before.
  • What have I learned over my month of video-watching? A bunch of stuff, some of which I knew already, but a reminder (with visuals) is so helpful.

  • If you’re going to use a big prop, you have to rock it. It’s the center of your act and your focus. Making a dramatic entrance and then ignoring the thing is a waste. I saw some great examples of big-prop-rocking.
  • Simplicity can be mesmerizing.
  • Even an act I thought was poor provides some inspiration. Admittedly lots of the “don’t do that” sort, but also some positive things.
  • Pause and pose. Stillness is so effective.
  • If your face is obscured in some way, push the body language. And have the appropriate facial expressions, even if they can’t be seen, they do come through.
  • When a performer loves her/his act, it’s beyond delightful to watch.
  • Good video is hard to come by. Atmospheric lighting may be great for the audience, but too dark for video. However, the biggest problems I saw were with decisions made by the camera operator and/or video editor. It’s fantastic if you can have multiple cameras, but sometimes I was wondering what the editor was thinking. If the performer is using a big prop that blocks the view of one of the cameras, don’t use the footage from that camera. Fan dances are usually meant to be seen from the front, so don’t use the footage from the camera in the wings. If you only have one camera, get a tight frame the performance area and just shoot without trying to pan or zoom on the fly.
  • I really like floorwork and stocking removes. Why don’t I do more of them?
  • There are so many ways in which I could up my game. I’ve got all sorts of ideas. And that was the whole point of this exercise.

    M2

    Published in: on 4 August 2015 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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    Friday Tip!

    Dear Constant Reader,

    Happy Friday. Here’s your tip!

    Rhinestones are like precious gems. Surround them with a secure setting, using extra glue.

    You can see to the left, as I repair my favorite Amber Ray hair flower, that I let some of the glue ooze out from under the stone. It may look awful at the moment, but it dried clear (always use a glue that dries clear…) and now I can’t even tell which stone it was.

    You are creating a bezel (ring-shaped setting) that will cradle your rhinestone and keep it securely in place. You want just enough extra glue to surround the stone without squishing all over the place. And you’ll have the added security of knowing that the back of the stone is completely coated in glue.

    M2

    Published in: on 31 July 2015 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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