Small Kindnesses

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s been a couple of lousy months, dear reader, and I’ve been feeling a bit down. I try to be positive in public fora, like here, but there’s been a lot of self-doubt in my life. Am I just shouting into the void? Does what I do make any difference?

Yesterday, I posted a picture for Valentine’s Day on various social media and received this comment on Instagram from one of my former B.A.B.E. students:

Awesome. Absolutely awesome. Much love. It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen you, but will never forget how empowered I felt– and still do every time I hear Peggy Lee’s version of “Fever.”❤️

I was touched. Moved to tears, in fact. It was exactly what I needed to remind me that yes, what I do does make a difference. Thank you so much.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

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Published in: on 15 February 2018 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Valentine’s Day Treat

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate it and happy Wednesday to those who don’t. And for those who were celebrating Mardi Gras yesterday, I hope your hangover has eased by now.

Whatever you celebrate or not, here’s a sweet treat for you from me.

Mina curtain
Photo by George Ross

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 14 February 2018 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Quiet

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m sorry for my relative silence this month. I do have things I want to share with you, like book reviews, recipes, a look at my new act and costumes for it, but I just haven’t had the energy to write. To be blunt, January has been a bitch of a month.

In brief, it’s been filed with a car accident, injury (not me), extreme weather, illness, death (thankfully no one very close to me, but people I care about are hurting), and other lousy, time-consuming, emotionally-draining things.

I’m hoping February will bring a fresh start and help me find my motivation to write. We’re starting off the month with a really fun Groundhog Day show at Deacon Giles!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 25 January 2018 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

2017 in Review

Dear Constant Reader,

twentyseventeaseLooking back on 2017, it was a mixed year. We had some extreme lows, but some great moments as well.

January
B.A.B.E. officially moves out of our dedicated studio and into The Thalia. While I’m grateful to no longer be responsible for so much (especially that much rent), I do miss having my own space.

Also this month we make a poor choice in marketing our February show. The backlash reignited the ire of the Boston burlesque scene against us and a number of former allies disavowed us. It was very ugly. I can barely even talk about it now, but at the time I was a complete wreck and strongly considered giving up burlesque completely.

February
The Expo, of course, is bracketed by snowstorms and attendance is way down.

We present The Road to Striptopia, a rather clever show, if I do say so myself, with a witty script and some fine performances by our apprentices. The audience is tiny, which is terribly disheartening.

Also, we see Dita when she passes through Boston. It’s an inspiring show, as you will see later.

March
I go to New Mexico for the first time. In short, it was beautiful. I performed in a new state, saw old friends (and met some new ones), ate great food, and had a hell of a time getting home thanks to an ill-time East Coast snowstorm.

April
Devora goes back to school and cuts back on time with us. We understand but miss her.

May
Inspired by Dita’s big props, we base a whole show on big props with all the cast members learning to build their own props. We work with wood, plastic, metal, papier mache, electrical, &c. The Big Time is a lot of work, but the results are impressive. The audience is tiny.

I launch my Patreon account.

June
Scratch goes to BHoF; most of the rest of us work RiverFest.

July
Now things get busy!

We go to Maine for a private show. Road trips are usually fun and something of an adventure and this is no exception.

The Mini-Expo was a chance to have some fun when it wasn’t snowing (although we kept the snowblower on the porch at Stately Babydoll Manor just in case. It’s wonderful to spend some time with Egypt Blaque Knyle.

August
The troupe goes to the Pennsylvania Burlesque Festival. Originally I’d applied solo and found out I was accepted before the deadline, so we also submitted as a group. I’m also invited to teach. 9 days before the festival one of the performers is too sick to continue. Betty & Brigitte rechoreograph our five person number for four and we all work like hell. We’re very pleased with the results.

I go to ABurlyQ. I’m very excited about this because it was my first festival acceptance in years. Also, it’s great to have an excuse to go back to NM. I see friends, teach, learn, watch terrific performances, and have amazing BBQ.

While I’m gone the troupe performs Cover Girls, acts to songs by artists who didn’t make them famous, at two new venues, Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab and The Strand Ballroom.

September
We invite Devastasia to officially join the troupe.

We present Cover Girls at The Thalia and I finally get to perform “Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue”.

October
We perform in Salem on Friday, October 13th. The show is called Bad Luck Burlesque, but it’s good luck for us because we sell out both shows.

We are all too exhausted to produce The Wrathskellar this year, so instead Scratch writes Panties Inferno, a light-hearted romp through hell. It is very good and quite clever. And it completely sells out.

November
We return to The Strand Ballroom for another iteration of Bad Luck Burlesque.

We are invited to perform at RuffleCon for the third year, the best audience yet.

We invite Artemisia to officially join the troupe.

December
We aren’t planning on doing a winter holiday show, but Brigitte really wants to do her Christmas numbers. Brrrlesque sells out at both The Thalia and at Deacon Giles. I debut a new number and am quite pleased with it. (Yes, the photo is from The Expo, by George Ross. I didn’t get one in December)

We go to The Strand Ballroom for New Year’s Tease. It’s really cold and the audience is relatively small, but very appreciative. My troupe mates demonstrate once again that they’re pretty terrific people who work very hard.

In short, some good, some bad. I think things got better as the year went on.

Here’s hoping things get better and better in 2018!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 17 January 2018 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Being Patronized, Again

Dear Constant Reader,

I just spent a few relaxing (and unplugged) days in Florida and returned to Boston to discover snow and that Patreon has changed their fee structure.

For those of you who haven’t noticed the little note I put at the end of every missive, people who like my writings can support me for a few dollars a month through Patreon. It’s not a life-changing amount of money, but it lets me know that people care. I recycle some of that money back into being a patron myself for a couple of other artists.

Until now Patreon took a bite out of the pledges, as you might expect — they are a business, after all — so creators, like me, got a little less than the total pledged. I knew that when I signed on and I’m okay with that. The new system is still going to take a bite out of creators’ funding, but they’ve shifted part of the fees onto the patrons. So if you pledge me $1 a month, you’ll actually get charged $1.38.

I’m not okay with this and as far as I can tell no creator is.

BREAKING NEWS:
While I was writing this I learned that Patreon apologized and won’t be changing anything right now, presumably due to overwhelmingly negative response from just about everyone. There will be changes coming, but they plan to work with Creators to solve the issues.

More news as I get it.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 13 December 2017 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gift Suggestions

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s the gift-giving time of year and once again I’d like to suggest some small businesses from which to purchase gifts. You can see some of my previous suggestions here and here.

Deacon Giles is a distillery in Salem, MA with a small line of spirits that is constantly expanding. Try the coffee rum or absinthe! If you make it to the Speakeasy Lab (say for Brrrlesque on the 16th…), sample their creative and delicious cocktails.

Emporium 32, also in Salem, sells beautiful, macabre, creative, and unusual accoutrements for adorning yourself and your home. They’ve got curios and art from local artisans as well as a large selection of jewelry and leather goods made right in the shop!

FinTail Fusions is the brainchild of Master costumer, Rae Bradbury-Enslin. Disappointed in the look of fabric mermaid tails and the price of silicon ones, Rae developed a customizable fabric tail with a cast-silicon fluke. They’re all hand-made in her New Hampshire studio.

International burlesque superstar and Great Burlesque Expo Special Guest Angie Pontani is selling hand-made crocheted hats so you can stay fashionable while you keep warm this winter. She has many different designs, including cloches, turbans, and headbands. Each one is a unique design created by the Italian Stallionette herself!

Cherry Dollface, pin-up, hair & makeup artist, and vintage aficionado, has published her first book, Dollface Vintage: An Everyday Gal’s Guide to a Vintage Lifestyle, a guide to all things vintage, like clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and entertaining. You can’t get this book at Amazon, only through the link above!

I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend my little book as a great stocking stuffer for the burlesquer in your life. It’s full of great ideas for improving your life on-, off- and back stage!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 4 December 2017 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Welcome Artemisia

Dear Constant Reader,

I mentioned in a previous missive that Scratch asked someone something. That is, after the show at Rufflecon, we invited Artemisia to officially join the troupe. She said yes!

Artemisia Vulgaris joined our summer crop of interns in May. Of those three (dubbed “The Axis of Evil” for some reason), she was the only one who continued on into the fall. She started out as backstage help on The Big Time, but once we got to know her, we realized she was going to shine on stage. And so she has.

She made her striptease debut in a group number at a private event up in Maine this summer and shortly thereafter made her official public debut on stage at The Mini Burlesque Expo in the Opening Number and with the Axis of Evil. Soon she was creating and performing her own solos and was cast as the main character in Panties Inferno. We definitely wanted to keep working with her.

She’s multi-talented artist — dancer, singer, actor, and costumer. If that’s not enough, she’s enthusiastic and has a great (if dorky) sense of humor — in short, a joy to work with. We were all so delighted when she decided to become an official BeauTeaser.

In addition to performing with us, she can often been seen around Massachusetts singing with her band. You can see her next in December at New Year’s Tease!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 29 November 2017 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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So Busy

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m so sorry for the lack of content. We’ve had a show every weekend for the past 3 weeks and that’s been keeping me busy. I should be able to get back to writing now, as we have several weeks before our next show (Brrrlesque, at The Thalia on Dec. 15 and Deacon Giles at Dec. 16).

Thanks for your patience!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 13 November 2017 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Halloween!

Dear Constant Reader,

Wishing you a very happy and spooky Halloween!

Wrathskellar Babydolls-19 Diva

This is one of my favorite pictures of The Diva. I can’t remember the photographer, but it was opening night of The Wrathskellar 2012. I was utterly exhausted, physically and emotionally, but that’s a story for another time.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 31 October 2017 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Photoshoot 10/15

Dear Constant Reader,

The Boston BeauTease recently had a photoshoot! It had been well over a year since our last one and we needed some pictures of Devastasia, our newest member, and some promo photos for Panties Inferno (this Saturday!).

We were fortunate enough to secure the services of the very talented Chuck Jones and Altar Boy Photography. I haven’t seen them all yet, but here’s a little tease for you.


Scratch, Devastasia, Betty Blaize, and me being devilish! You can see the real thing on Saturday.

There are also some action shots of Betty with her giant dice and Devastasia and the Wall of Death. Of course there are a bunch with me and my favorite set of fans. There were even a few of Scratch.

I managed to sneak in a couple of personal shoots, which my Patrons get to see first. One features shoes once worn by Dita Von Tease and in another I’m wearing a birthday gift from Kitten Natividad (she gets to see those before anyone else).

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 24 October 2017 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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