RuffleCon 11/11

Dear Constant Reader,

For third year we were hired to perform at RuffleCon, an alternative fashion event in Stamford, CT. It’s always such a good time, but I think this year was the best. In the past the convention has been in October, so we were crazed with Wrathskellar preparations. They’ve moved the dates into November, which was saner for us, but it meant I missed BurlyCon for the first time in about 5 years. We were also moved to Saturday night rather than Friday, which gave us a bigger audience.

Everyone headed down pretty early to enjoy the convention offerings. In the late afternoon I taught my corsetry class. Sadly, I was opposite one of the many fashion shows, but most of the ladies I was traveling with came to class, eager to learn about corsets.

Before the show, we had a lovely, relaxed dinner at a near-by Mexican restaurant. Scratch has an excellent restaurant sense and once again picked out a terrific place. After a stop at a liquor store to gather post-show wine, we returned to the hotel to get ready.

The show was a lot of fun and the audience was amazing. They were yelling, screaming, and cheering so loudly. We had a few technical issues, to be honest. There were constant problems with the music (songs starting early or late or just wrong or once two songs playing simultaneously), but they were resolved quickly every time. And we had to reconfigure most of our acts to the runway stage, which was really set up for fashion shows (narrow stage with a long runway), but we made it work.

I’m not going to do a blow by blow of the show because I couldn’t see anything from backstage. Here are a few notes.

Nicole and I opened the show with “Mistress & Maid”. When I snuck onto stage, an audience member yelled “someone’s going to get a spanking!” How did they know?

No surprise, but they loved Artemisia, especially her singing voice. They went absolutely berserk when she hit those long high notes in “Creep”.

Our special guest Mister Twister from Chicago was extremely popular with the ladies.

Betty did a striking striptease with her new LED Wings of Isis to great acclaim.

My costume for “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was further decorated and I made a new pair of strappy undies just for this show (with lots of patient help from Scratch — I can’t pin elastic over my butt by myself.) At one point I was covering myself with the fans and someone yelled “Stop teasing me!”

We closed out with “Booty Swing” which had brand-new sparkly jackets and light-up staves with LEDs and fiber optics! We try to go all out on the costumes and props for these folks.

After the show, we all went back to our hotel room for wine and snacks and decompressing. I made a post-show video for my Patrons, as it was too dark and too noisy backstage. Scratch asked someone an important question, which will be the topic of another missive.

I admit that I was sinking lower and lower into bed as the merriment went on, but everyone else was still energetic and went to the dance party. I heard that Betty absolutely broke the dance floor with her all-out Old School Goth moves and she had a devoted ring of admirers dancing around her.

The next morning we had a fabulous brunch and then most of us went shopping and spent a lot of time thanking audience members who telling us how much they enjoyed the show. Several of the ladies hit the consignment shop and found all sorts of treasures including Devastasia’s first corset. Scratch taught a class on Victorian Parlor Magic which was remarkably well attended for so early in the morning. Perhaps because he plugged it at the show and promised to reveal the secrets of how he pulled so many items from thin air. And then we hit the road to be back in MA in time for rehearsal!

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 22 November 2017 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Luck Burlesque 11/4

Dear Constant Reader,

We brought Bad Luck Burlesque, a mix of the previous show of that name and some acts from Panties Inferno to The Strand Ballroom in Dover, NH. This was the troupe’s second appearance there, but my first, since I was in New Mexico.

The Strand is a vintage theatre that had been turned into a movie house, but now also hosts live entertainment and dancing. The first several rows of seats had been removed and a dance floor laid out. Although there is a low proscenium stage, we were performing on the dance floor, so as not to be miles from the audience.

If you are one of my Patrons, you can see a video I made from our dressing room in all my pre-show not-so-glamourous glory. I don’t remember the order of the acts, but here are a few snippets. Photos are by audience member Beth Wittenberg.

Our special guest was local blues singer Mike Breman. He accompanied Betty during her injury striptease to “That’s Life” and sang two other songs.

Betty reprised her injured striptease, as mentioned above. She also danced with the Devil in her signature piece, as seen in the photo. Betty is also expert with Wings of Isis. Sometimes she does a striptease, sometimes it’s a straight-up dance number, as it was this time. She included a special surprise for this performance — halfway through the dance, her wings lit up! I wish I had a good picture of the multicolored LED wings in action.

Devastasia’s disturbing bird tormented poor Nicole. She was also an adorable witch in the act she created for our Salem show.
 
 
 
 
 

Scratch mystified and horrified the audience with two dangerous pieces: “The Spike”, which involves attempting not to drive a three-inch steel spike through his hand and “Urban Legend” which involves an apple studded with double-edged razor blades and his mouth. There has never been an incident, but I still can’t watch them.
 

Once again Nicole played my naughty maid and I got to spank her in “Mistress & Maid”. Poor Nicole — first a bird, than a sadistic employer. I also presented my fan dance to “Moon Over Bourbon Street”. From where I was, the lighting for that was fabulous.

For the finale Nicole, Devastasia and I danced to “Booty Swing”, an act that involves picking up and setting down tall staves. That’s when we discovered the the floor was sloped toward the audience… Exciting. I recall Nicole daintily setting down her foot on an errant staff as it began rolling down into the audience.

After the show the good folks at the theatre took up on a tour of the place and insisted we take several large bags of delicious fresh popcorn. We’ll be back for New Year’s Tease on December 31st!

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 21 November 2017 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bad Luck Burlesque 10/13

Dear Constant Reader,

Over the summer The Boston BeauTease performed at Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab in Salem, thanks to a connection made by Brigitte. The show went so well that they asked us back. Friday the 13th seemed like a great date for a show in Salem in October. Since the last show practically sold out, we had TWO seatings of this show and they both completely sold out.

Scratch, Devastasia, Artemisia, and I went up early so we could visit the Peabody Essex Museum for It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection. It’s highly worth it, even if it means going into Salem in the high season. The collection is excellent, with most of the important films represented, and some I didn’t know (I must see Asta Nielsen’s Hamlet). The exhibit is also very well presented with simple lighting effects used to create mood — I’ve always been fond of gobos — and projected film clips of the most iconic characters on the walls.

After that delightful interlude, it was time to head to the venue.

The Speakeasy is a small space and like so many bars, there’s no permanent stage, but the good folks there made us one out of four pallets and a sheet of plywood. Before you get all snobby at me, it was actually better than some of the soggy carpeted stages at rock clubs I’ve played. And Brigitte’s taps sounded great. We had a huge dressing room space back in the distillery proper and everyone did their best to make sure we had a great experience. And we did.

The show went something like this:

Betty Blaize, Artemisia Vulgaris: That’s Life (Frank Sinatra arrangement)
Betty decided to embody the “Bad Luck” aspect of our show and came out on a crutch with a sling and neck brace, as Artemisia sang. As she stripped, she also stripped away her injuries her her trademark goofy style.

Brigitte Bisoux: In the Mood (Glenn Miller)
Disproving the superstition that it’s bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, Brigitte tapped her heart out. Here’s a little taste from her rehearsal.

Mina Murray: Moon Over Bourbon Street (Sting)
This is a brand new act from a suggestion by Scratch. I was delighted to have permission to use a song from outside of our usual aesthetic and also to wear one of my Catherine D’Lish robes.

Artemisia Vulagaris: Creep (PMJ arrangement)
Artemisia showcased her lovely voice with this not too creepy song.

Devastasia: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead (Ella Fitzgerald)
We couldn’t come to Salem in October without presenting a witch number. Devastasia was simply adorable.

Artemisia Vulagaris: The Man I Love (Julie London)
You may have seen Devora Darling perform this sinister love story. With her permission, Artemisia created her own version of the act.

Scratch: The Spike
I can’t watch Scratch perform this trick, which involves a large metal spike, a blindfold, and his hand.

Brigitte Bisoux: Alcohol (The Kinks)
This was created for The Wrathskellar, but slightly modified as it was being performed by Brigitte and not her character, The Broad. A little more humor, a little less darkness. And she swigged from a Deacon Giles bottle, of course

Artemisia Vulgaris, Devastasia, Mina Murray: Poison (Post Modern Jukebox)
This was originally created for Cover Girls but only Devastasia is left from the original casting. Three murderesses think they are cleverly offing the competition, but are they…?

I made a little backstage video between shows with an appearance from The BeauTease, but you have to be one of my Patrons to see it.

After the shows we were treated to creative (and strong!) cocktails by the bar staff. Mine was a Far Side of the Tracks, a mix of their spiced rum and Far from the Tree cider with egg white, cream and nutmeg, pictured at right. So delicious! Brigitte’s coffee rum-based cocktail had smoke in it! I also tried something with absinthe in it and the most bizarre cider I’ve ever tasted.

We’ll be back at Deacon Giles on December 16th with Brrrlesque, a winter holiday treat. If you can’t wait that long, you can catch us this Saturday at The Thalia in Panties Inferno!

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 23 October 2017 at 5:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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Cover Girls 9/30/17

Dear Constant Reader,

I was excited for this show, which was an idea Scratch had a long time ago — we would all perform to covers of songs, mostly current pop songs covered in a vintage-ish style. Then I discovered I had been accepted to ABurlyQ! for the same weekend as the shows, which were in Salem and New Hampshire. I was delighted when we decided to do the show on our home turf too.

I revived a very old number and created a brand-new one to a song I’ve been longing to use for a while now. I wrote about modifying a costume piece for the first one recently (and a little follow up report if you are a Patron). Neither one was particularly simple to create or rehearse and I confess to being worried abut the results for a while.

Things got a little exciting when Scratch got a message from our special guest, Carla Corazón, on the morning of the show — she was sick and had lost her voice. Since she was supposed to be singing, this was pretty bad. I’ll let you know how we handled things further down. Also, something went very wrong with transportation for Valerie, one of our new apprentices and a stage kitten for this show, and she didn’t arrive until halfway through the show. Again, it was handled by cast and crew gracefully.

And here’s the show…

Artemisia Vulgaris, Devastasia, Gin-ni Gelato: Poison (Bell Biv DeVoe covered by Post Modern Jukebox)
Three murderesses each think they’ll be the last one standing as they plot to take out the competition. Choreographed by Betty Blaize and originally performed at Cover Girls on the road. Only Devastasia was original to that version of the number and I’ll be taking Gin-ni’s place when we perform it at Bad Luck Burlesque in Salem.

Scratch: Magic (to Pastime Rag by Artie Matthews covered by Richard Dowling)
Here we ran into a small problem, because the costumes needed to be cleared from the stage *and* the table with the poisoned glasses needed to be struck *and* Scratch had a bit of schtick where he needed to be introduced by Nicole, who was also the sole available apprentice/stage kitten (Valerie was having the above-mentioned transportation issues and Gin-ni needed to get dressed before she could help). Somehow she managed to get most of it done.

It’s a card trick he does silently, because his mouth is taped shut — which is why he needed Nicole’s introduction.

Mina Murray: Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini Orchestra covered by Art of Noise)
My very first striptease was to the Peter Gunn Theme, although I used the Blues Brothers’ version back then. I still love the music and the costume. It’s evolved a bit in over a decade, but it’s not my typical languid moves and sparkly costume. This is where the previously mentioned zippered trousers come in.

Scratch: Makin’ Whoopee (Eddie Cantor covered by Tony Bennett)
Originally Carla was supposed to be singing “Fever” here. Since she was too sick to perform ( no fever jokes please), Scratch decided he would fill in with something from his repertoire. He sings so infrequently that most people don’t realize that it’s one of his many talents. He did pretty well until someone from the audience yelled “take it off!”.

Devastasia: Love Potion No. 9 (The Clovers covered by Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass Band)
A rather classic striptease with a boa. Devastasia used her winning smile to great effect as she teased the audience with her love potion.

Betty Blaize: 1812 Overdrive (Tchaikovsky covered by The Brian Setzer Orchestra)
Betty created this act for The Big Time and built a stack of dice she can sit and stand on. It’s pretty impressive. However, it’s all stage hands on deck to move it and we were still down a kitten at this point. Artemisia lent a hand and everything went smoothly. Also, Betty’s costume is pretty impressive and has gotten more so since she first created the concept.

Intermission

Artemisia Vulgaris: All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor covered by PMJ)
This was the other song Carla was supposed to sing. Fortunately, Artemisia knew it and jumped in to fill the spot. She gets big points for going above & beyond this show.

Betty Blaize: Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns ‘n’ Roses covered by Miche Braden with PMJ)
Betty did a stripped-down and dirty tease that was perfect for the down & dirty sound of this song.

Mina Murray: Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue (George Gershwin & Queen arranged by Scott Bradlee)
As soon as I heard this song, I wanted to perform to it. It’s an incredibly clever piece of music, blending two wonderful and disparate songs. And the only way I could get close to using Queen on stage. I tried is as a straight-ahead striptease, but realized it needed the drama of fans.

Scratch: Magic (to A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles covered by Count Basie)
One of the best things I learned during the work on this show was that Count Basie had *two* albums of Beatles covers. They’re amazing; you should listen to them. Scratch did a very classic-style magic trick with, appropriately for a burlesque troupe, feathers.

Betty Blaize, Artemisia Vulgaris, Devastasia: Temptation (Tom Waits covered by Diana Krall)
Carla was also supposed to be singing this one. Fortunately we have a terrific recording of Billie Von Bonbon (long-time fans will remember her from V for Vixen and French Kiss, among other shows) singing this. The three ladies tempted the audience with various vices.

No rest for us, we’ve got more shows coming up soon. Next, Bad Luck Burlesque on Friday the 13 followed by Panties Inferno right before Halloween!

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 3 October 2017 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Show on the Road 7/23/17

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s been a while since we went on a substantial road trip. We were hired to entertain at a Vegas-themed 18th birthday/graduation party in Greenville Junction, Maine, which is about 5 hours from Boston. The birthday girl originally wanted a trip to Las Vegas, but instead she got a party with gambling and showgirls.

Scratch, Betty, Artemisia, and I piled into the BeauTeaseMobile for the long drive. We broke the trip in Portland for a little fun. First stop, The Holy Donut. Their famous cheese and bacon-filled donut was as amazing as promised. The chocolate sea salt was also outstanding. Highly recommended, if you like donuts.

Then on to the Cryptozoology Museum to gaze upon the weird and the mysterious. It’s a fun collection of really eclectic stuff, like a Feejee mermaid, big foot track casts, and Wessie’s shed skin. The curator in me desperately wants to rearrange things and write wall text.

As luck would have it, the museum shares a building with Big J’s Chicken Shack, so that was the obvious choice for lunch. I’d been craving fried chicken recently (the problem with reading a murder mystery series set in the south), so I was not displeased with this turn of events.

I was, however, extremely displeased to drop my iPhone in the parking lot, scattering the screen into a thousand tiny fragments. This is why I was largely absent from Instagram for this trip and the pictures I did take are of dubious quality.

We all piled back in the car for the long drive up to our final destination. Once you’re off the highway (and we were on local roads for quite a while), it’s really beautiful. We passed through a bunch of charming towns, like Sangervile (Town of Two Knights) and Abbott (Maine’s #1 Town). Closing in on our destination, we weren’t sure we were ever going to make it, as the GPS kept taking us down deserted roads that dead ended at scary-looking industrial buildings. Probably not a wise idea to have the GPS voice set to “Dr. Nightmare”.

But we did finally make it to the venue, Woody’s Bar & Grill, without incident. The whole place was done up with Vegas-themed decorations and various table games. There was a small stage and a large dance floor, which is where we did most of our show — Betty and her giant dice were up on the stage. Appropriate to the gambling theme, but just part of the everyday decor, there are dollar bills stuck all over the ceiling, some very high up. Apparently there’s a way to toss them up there with a quarter and a tack and it seems to be a popular past time. The staff was terrific and very accommodating. I made a short video backstage before the show, which is available to my Patrons.

Keeping with the Vegas theme, both Betty and I had new showgirl headdresses for a couple numbers, as created by Scratch (yes, he’s multi-talented). This was Artemisia’s first show with us and not only did she sing, she also performed her first striptease! We were joined by local(ish) flow performer Lexi Go-go, who dazzled us with her hooping. Her first act was done with changeable LED hoops and the second with SIX hoops. There was also magic from Scratch as well as striptease from Betty and me. The audience was appreciative, but mostly importantly, the birthday girl was very happy with the show.

Afterwards, after dragging Scratch out of game of Texas Hold ‘Em that he was trying unsuccessfully to lose, we retired to the luxurious accommodations provided for us. I’m not being facetious — it was a huge suite at a lakeside lodging. We each had our own room — usually on these road trips, we get very cozy and friendly in a single hotel room. There was even a jacuzzi tube in the (enormous) bathroom and a stack of washcloths with a little note “for makeup removal”.

This was the view the next morning:

That’s Moosehead Lake. Pretty gorgeous, no?

It was a long, long drive back to Boston. Mostly uneventful, except for the pouring rain for most it and the GPS taking us down a series of progressively less road-like roads. Finally faced with a gravel track heading into the woods, we decided not to trust a GPS in Stephen King country and backtracked to civilization. We broke the trip in Portland for a fabulous brunch and continued on it the rain back to Boston.

This weekend is the Mini Expo and then we are back on the road!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 7 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 26 July 2017 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Upcoming Events

Dear Constant Reader,

Last night one of my students asked if I had any upcoming shows and should she check my blog for the schedule. I keep a schedule on my website, but it’s certainly not a bad thing to also post it here. This is going to be a long one…

This Sunday, July 23, I’m heading to Maine with Betty, Scratch, and one of our new interns, Artemisia Vulgaris, for a private show. It’s a Vegas-themed birthday party and I’m looking forward to wearing my new showgirl headdress.

The following Saturday, July 29th, I’m teaching and performing at the Mini Expo. You can catch me and my bathtub at the Late Night Lust show at 10:30.

The very next weekend, I’m heading to Jim Thorpe, PA for the Pennsylvania Burlesque Festival. I’ll be performing at the Friday Night Delight, then teaching two workshops on Saturday as part of the Burlesque Boot Camp. If that weren’t enough, I’ll be performing again Saturday night in The Big Reveal competition, as a soloist and as part of The Boston BeauTease. Wish me luck!

Next up: I get a blessed weekend off.

Then I hop on a plane to New Mexico for ABurlyQ! Burlesque and Sideshow Spectacular, August 17-19. I’ll be teaching Friday morning and then performing Friday night in The Wild Ones showcase. I’m there for the whole weekend (although I’m sad to miss the Sunday field trip because Southwest doesn’t offer flights after 5pm. What?).

While I’m off in the Land of Enchantment, The Boston BeauTease will be bringing you Cover Girls, an evening of familiar music with a twist. On Friday night they’re at the Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab in Salem, MA and on Saturday at the Strand Ballroom in Dover, NH.

I’ll join the cast of Cover Girls on August 25-26 at The Thalia.

Seeing it written out like this is exhausting, but it’s going to be so much fun!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 7 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 20 July 2017 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Big Time

Dear Constant Reader,

This past weekend we finally opened our show The Big Time. It feels like we had been working on it forever. Well, it has been several months and we were often working outside of our normal rehearsal times.

The theme of the show was big props, and everyone built their own with help from Scratch. he had been pretty adamant that he would help and teach, but not actually do the construction. After all, there were 7 props being built and he couldn’t do them all. We used power tools, we used hand tools, we cut, we drilled, we sanded, we painted. We worked with wood and with metal, with plastic and papier mache, even electronics.

Here’s the results, in brief. I wish I had photos, but we were a little too busy to arrange for that.

Act I

Betty Blaize and Ruby Foxx: Spiderweb
This was one of the two existing acts which used one of three existing props. Betty is an old hand at getting trapped in the web, but Ruby was new to the spider role and she did a great job.

Pearl Buttons: Steam Heat
There’s no simple word to describe Pearl’s prop. It was two sets of stairs with a platform in between them, kind of like a bridge. She merrily danced up and down the steps and sprawled fetchingly on the platform.

Ruby Foxx: Orange Colored Sky
Besides being a stripteaser, Ruby is also a singer and she belted out this entertaining piece.

Jeannie Martini
: Piggy Bank
Jennie was dressed in layers of money, which she stripped off and dropped into her adorable over-sized piggy bank. Piggy is cleverly made from two half whiskey barrels and many cute decorations.

Scratch and Devastacia: Wall of Death
You might have seen Scratch doing this whip act before, but never with such a scary looking Wall of Death. Credit to Devastacia’s new-found skill with a nail gun.

Cara Siobhan: Waterfall
Cara got off easy in the prop construction department as we already had a free-standing doorframe that she modified to be her waterfall, but she challenged herself nonetheless. A novice seamstress, she sewed a hooded cloak with a lengthy train that flowed like water.

Mina Murray: Heavenly Body
I got to ride a shooting star! In reality, it’s a steel frame with a very solid wooden top, draped with black velvet and a shooting star mounted to the downstage side. It’s festooned with color-changing LED lights. I even have glowing reins for riding it. I admit that Scratch did much of the work, although I did cut the pieces for the frame and attached them together. With much cursing.

I’m really, really happy with how it came out. And I just love my costume. It’s the corset I made for Costume-Con, plus matching bra, panties, and garter belt and a poofy swirly skirt (6 layers!). Still needs some more rhinestones…

ACT II

Betty Blaize: Getting Lucky
This is Betty’s new number and I think she did the most construction work by herself of any of us. She built a towering stack of dice that she can climb, making her the tallest thing around, as she prefers. She also gets credit because her prop breaks down rather compactly.

Ruby Foxx: Hard-Boiled
Ruby, as a femme fatale, stepped out of a pulp detective novel. Literally. Her prop was a huge book with a cover that swung open.

Scratch: Martini Time
Here Scratch magically made vermouth bottles multiply until his table was covered with this. Not big in size, but big in numbers.

Pearl Buttons: Picture of a Ballerina
Like a Degas painting come to life, Pearl started behind a picture frame (seen here with a scrim in place) and danced her way into the real world.

Devastacia: Candelabra
Devastacia is so hot, she makes candles light up without even touching them (thanks to a little magic from Hunter). She’s a terrific artist and you would never realize her candelabra started its life as PVC pipe and newspaper.

Cara Siobhan: Why Don’t You Do Right?
Cara is also a talented singer and she crooned this classic tune.

Mina Murray: Midnight Bath
My beautiful, beautiful bath tub. It should get a post all its own, because it’s been a saga. I’ve wanted a bath tub since I started doing burlesque and I am so, so happy with everything about this act.

Scratch took this picture in rehearsal and I just love it:

We had our curtain call to a piece of music called “Big Noise from Winnetka”, kind of an inside joke for us.

Sadly, our usual curse was upon us and, despite trying to get video, technical difficulties kept that from happening. Someday…

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 23 May 2017 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Big Time Approaches

Dear Constant Reader,

Our new show, The Big Time, opens on Friday! We’re all very busy putting the finishing touches on our costumes and props for dress rehearsal.

Here’s an early look at my not-yet-decorated prop for my new act.

I also made a new costume. My Patrons got a backstage look, but the rest of you will just have to wait until showtime. Hint: part of it was made out of these fabrics:

I’m really excited to unveil this new act! We’re calling it “Heavenly Body” — you’ll see why this weekend

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 May 2017 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Big Time All the Time

Dear Constant Reader,

Just to give you a quick rundown of what’s going on right now.

The Boston BeauTease welcomed our newest batch of interns and other volunteers last night, which also happened to be Betty’s birthday. We don’t usual end rehearsals with a large spread of treats, but it was certainly an auspicious day to start working with us.

They’ll be helping out on our upcoming show The Big Time in two weeks. You’ll be able to see our current interns, Cara, Devastacia, Jeannie Martini, and Ruby Foxx, on stage showing off what they’ve learned, alongside The BeauTease.

Everyone will be performing brand-new, never-before-seen acts, expect Betty and I who will also be performing a second, favorite number from our respective repertoires. I’ll give you a hint: one involves a spiderweb and the other a bathtub.

The show is called The Big Time because we’re all using big props, most of which have been built expressly for this show, and have mostly been built by the performers themselves, with a *lot* of help and guidance from Scratch. We’ve been working in wood and metal and plastic and fabric and papier mache. We’ve been using power tools and paintbrushes and glue and electronics. Everyone has been working very hard and pushing themselves in many ways not just in building the props, but in all aspects of act creation.

I can’t wait for you to see what we’ve accomplished! Tickets are pretty cheap right now, but they’re going to go up at the door, so do yourself (and us) a favor and get yours now.

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 8 May 2017 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Visit to Santa Fe

Dear Constant Reader,

After my performance in Albuquerque Friday night, I was off to Santa Fe the next day. Well, originally I was going to spend all Saturday in Albuquerque and take the train to Santa Fe on Sunday morning, but there was a burlesque show Saturday night and it seemed dumb to miss the opportunity. And then Dr. Jen offered to come get me and put me up, so it was a no-brainer.

The landscape is just breathtaking. That’s the word I just kept using because my vocabulary was inadequate. Mountains, mesas, exactly the colors you think of as “southwestern”. This photo does not do it justice.

We stopped at The Teahouse where I had a lovely cranberry almond scone. You know I take my scones very seriously and this was pretty fabulous. Serving it with lemon curd was a nice touch.

The burlesque show, put on by Zircus Erotique was at The Palace, which I was told was once a brothel. It certainly has the right decor — red flocked wallpaper, decorative ceilings, and fancy chandeliers. The performance was at one end of the dining room — no stage, which is always a challenge. We were sitting in the bar, watching the show through open windows in the partition between rooms. Not terribly ideal sight lines, especially since the place was packed.

After doors opened, go-go dancers began circulating through the venue. Until the show started and then again at intermission, they slithered and shimmied through both rooms, getting up close with the patrons, but never being intrusive. This was a new approach to me, which worked well because of the lack of a stage and the aforementioned sight line issues.

The show itself was many of the same performers I had worked with the night before, but not necessarily the same acts. I really can’t give you a blow-by-blow this time because I don’t have a set list to jog my memory.

I was impressed with the Mosaic Dance Company, a trio of belly dancers with some really tight choreography.

I was eagerly awaiting Sophia Sunday’s second number because I assumed it would be the razor blades I had missed Friday night. However, it was something entirely different, but still weird and wonderful. She started on a chaise, fairly classic, but after stripping a bit, she set a bed of nails on it. She proceeded to demonstrate that she’s not called “The Pain Proof Pinup” for nothing. I loved the stocking removes. The act was kind like this.

Al Monds danced with a flowing white cape she used to great effect. Lola was trying to remember the dance pioneer she resembled. “Loie Fuller”, I called out.

Lola Van Ella once again impressed me with her stage presence and stripping, this time to one of Scratch’s favorite Doors songs. She works the audience so well. I learned a lot from watching her.

The stand out of the evening for me was Holly Rebelle. So far this weekend I had seen her be classic and be vaudevillian, but for her last act, she was just fierce AF with a passionate performance to “Sabotage”. She told me before the show she was nervous about it, but she dominated that room.

After the show Dr. Jen’s assistant, Gia, wanted to meet some of the performers and do some networking. I did feel sort of weird making the introductions when I’d only met some of these people the night before.

The next day Dr. Jen, Gia, and I went to Ten Thousand Waves. It’s a beautiful, tranquil Japanese bath house and spa. It’s one of those places that looks like it could have opened yesterday, because everything is so beautifully maintained, or always been there, since the architecture is so harmonious and fits perfectly in its setting. We got a private tub and it was just the thing for a weary traveler to stretch and soak. I will definitely be back.

I insisted we go to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, since how could I be in New Mexico and not see some of her art. The first thing that surprised me was that you could take pictures of most of the art; only a few items were labeled as off limits. The other surprise was the painting to the right. I immediately recognized New York, just from those few shapes. Like most, I associate O’Keeffe with southwestern landscapes and yonic flowers. This painting changed my perspective on her style. It’s a toss up between this and a more expected calla lily as my favorite work.

On the way to Jen’s log cabin/lab in the mountains, we stopped at the town of Español for dinner at El Paragua for some local cuisine. I couldn’t decide, so I got an (enormous) combination plate (that I barely made a dent in). I got to try carne adovada (pork in a red chile sauce) and posole (hominy and pork stew) and sopapillas (heaven in a basket — pillowy fried dough with honey). I’m a big wimp when it comes to spice, so I was pleasantly surprised that the adovada wasn’t too hot for my palate. The red sauce on the enchilada was another story. Because I had to try green chile eventually, I tried a bite of Jen’s chile relleno and determined that while the heat wouldn’t kill me, I still don’t like green peppers in any form.

And then we continued the long, very scenic drive up into the mountains. I’m positive I’ve never been at an elevation that high before.

As this has gotten quite long, Dear Reader, and I have now left the city in the title, I shall sign off for now and perhaps take up my narrative again tomorrow.

Published in: on 29 March 2017 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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