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Archive for July, 2010

LYDIA DECARLLO IS FROM SURREY

Posted on July 30th, 2010

How did you get involved in Burlesque?

Through my burlesque birth mother Darla DeVine. I didn’t take any classes or get involved to work my way in. I literally just jumped in feet first and decided that I was going to do it. Darla DeVine is a huge supporter and a inspiration to me still, she is now my costume designer and is still nurturing me to this day.

Whats your favorite act to perform?

I think its my Tom Waits Pasties and a G-string number. I proceed to take 8 shots, drink a beer and smoke the entire time. It’s become quite a favorite and there is something very satisfying about smoking on stage.

Whats your favorite act you’ve seen?

Why ya gotta be like that!?! I can’t pick! I’ve seen many amazing numbers. I’ll just pick a favorite of mine….Torchy Tabboo does this number about Elvis Presley sandwiches (which are my favorite) She makes me want to quit doing Burlesque because I’ll never be as amazing and as innovative as her.

Highlights thus far?

Texas Burlesque Festival, Vancouver Burlesque Festival, touring around Australia; I’m sure my up coming Big John Bates tour and New Orleans Burlesque Festival will be added to this list….. I’m a very spoiled little girl.

If you could be any malt liquor, what malt liquor would you be?

COLT 45 BITCHES! I’m a Surrey Girl inside and out.

For more Lydia, check out her Facebook Group

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54145653894&ref=ts

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SHABOOBIE BOOBARELLA IS COMPLEX IN FLAVOR

Posted on July 27th, 2010


How did you get involved in Burlesque?

I was raised with a lot of retro influences and was always surrounded by performers of various styles. I was into old jazz and rockabilly when I was a child, and I always found movie stars from he 20′s – 50′s more attractive and interesting than people from ‘my time.’ When I was 13, I was getting friends to go go dance with me (60′s style) and emulate routines from musicals. By by the time I was 16 I was performing ‘comedic’ dance routines with weird moves to vintage music. Without being aware, it was very ‘burlesque’ as I was doing humorous theatrical performances with hints of sexuality. At the time, there was no umbrella term for burlesque as such – and all I knew of burlesque was feathered fans and images of so-called ‘classic’ stripper-style performers. My father played in several different cabaret-style bands, so I always had access to costumes and creative, talented free-thinking performers. From 1993 – 2004, I performed in Australia with various groups and dance partners, and partook in numerous Fringe and comedy festivals. Upon arriving in Vancouver in late 2004, I made some pasties and performed in shows with Sweet Soul and Fluffgirl Burlesque. Simply showing the melons while doing the same sort of dancing turned me a ‘burlesque performer!’

Whats your favorite act to perform?

I always enjoy ‘Barbarella’ because my costume is easy to deal with and the routine makes people laugh. I also like riding off on my pink horse at the finale of my Marie Antoinette number. People naturally expect to see me eat cake – but that’s what everyone does in their Antoinette numbers, so I get into bubbles and horses instead. I prefer some dance choreography to be involved, and I like people to get inspiration from me if they can! I am not a ‘sensual’ performer per se, and I get the most fulfillment if people like my sequined shoes or crazy expressions. That demonstrates my artistic abilities and creative ideas. Though I want to appear ‘attractive’ to some extent, I don’t necessarily want anyone to find me ‘hot!’ I want to be unique. I try to avoid the cliches.

Whats your favorite act you’ve seen?

I cannot pinpoint one – as there are so many I have seen in my lifetime, and so many diverse performers. However, I was very moved at the 2009 BHOF during the ‘Legends’ show. Seeing women over 60, 70 and even 80 perform in burlesque was a very beautiful thing. There is so much judgment in the world – ageism, sexism, body-ism. Seeing these women get cheered by hundreds of people who ‘get it’ was a beautiful thing. I even shed some tears. Where else in society could they do that without being ridiculed and told to ‘put some clothes on and act your age.’ To me, THAT’s what burlesque is about – doing it ‘your way.’ Not about thousands of Swarovski crystals, vintage hairdos or ‘hot’ bodies, etc – but about individual creative expression. I love to see something I’ve never seen (or thought of!) before. Whether it’s hit or miss, creativity trumps formula for me every time. Not that I have anything against Swarovski and all that, but I prefer to see something new and innovative.

Highlights thus far?

So many highlights, so little time.
* Being backstage with INXS at the Olympics after party, getting ready to be their support act doing an ‘Australiana’ version of the Barbarella routine while wearing my astronaut suit. We shared a bathroom and they had to wait for me to get ready. Absurd. Nice people. We share acquaintances from the ‘olde country’ (Australia) so it just felt like seeing old friends.
* Dancing back-up for Blowfly (original dirty rapper) and then seeing myself in the documentary made about him. I also got Precious Metal in on that gig! Melbourne girls unite.
* The Vancouver International Burlesque Festivals. It makes me very full of heart to see how many people are attracted to performing and watching. We have had excellent international guests, as well as a very talented and diverse pool of local performers.

If you could be any condiment, which condiment would you be?

Herbes de Provence – complex in flavor, lending a certain freshness to dishes and has numerous varieties…

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More More Toronto Burlesque – Day 3!

Posted on July 24th, 2010

Uh, Wow!

The bar keeps rising. Last night, myself and a few hundred hipsterishly cool folks packed ourselves into the Revival Club for the “Glamour Gala” – and what an awesomely glamourous gala it was. Hosts La Minouche and Sexy Mark Brown were huge fun, snappy and smart – not to mention damn sexy. La Minouche is the cutest/sexiest woman and that Sexy Mark Brown brought it on as well when he accompanied Tanya Cheeks in her hilariously romantic Sea Monkey routine – I felt especially close to this, as I too had those disappointing little creatures when I was a kid – still remembering the day my Mom killed the last remaining one, apparently by “accident”…

Performers were mainly from these eastern parts, with a few westerners thrown in to remind Toronto that there is indeed a left coast. All were fantastic, but I’ve gotta shout out to a few standouts: Foxy Tann and her reflection on selling a “chair”, Roxy Dlite and her 2010 Burlesque Hall of Fame winning performance, the amazing hula-hoopness of Lula Houp-Garou, Julie Atlas Muz and Tigger’s operetta, Michelle L’amour’s incredibly sexy Snow White, Dew Lily’s phenomenal Tin Man and of course the standing-ovation-causing, boob-a-flaming finale number from none other than Satan’s Angel – I tell ya, every single one of us were (and still are) completely in love with her!

Videos of all the TBF performances will be on StripCHEEZ starting next Tuesday, July 27

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Toronto Burlesque Fest – Day 2 Thurs, July 22

Posted on July 23rd, 2010

Tonight was actually the “official” opening night for the festival and what a packed night. All the action was still at the Gladstone Hotel. Upstairs there was the retrospective of Dr. Sketchy artwork  - if you don’t know this series, check it out – Life Drawing sessions made sexy! In one of the main bars, everyone got together to meet each other, have a few drinks and start the eve – and, wow, what an eve…

We started with a press conference, discussing the future of Burlesque. I was on the panel that included Dirty Martini, Roxi Dlite, Michelle L’amour, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Satan’s Angel, Tigger!, Julie Atlas Muz, Sauci Calla Hora and Tanya Cheex. A few good questions were asked and I was able to make my point that new media offers many exciting new possibilities for Burlesque, in both how it’s conceived, presented and distributed.

After that, the shows began – In one bar were Teaser Performances by some up and coming talent, and in the ballroom there was the Rising Star Showcase. The wonderfully entertaining Keith Cole (who is a front-runner in the 2010 Toronto mayoral candidate race) hosted the first half and the very cool Indigo Blue of Seattle hosted the second. I really dug the overall quality of these new performers and have to give special mention to Mahogony Storm and Johnny aka Claire Ness.

There was also an art-bra auction, with proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research. Different artists and designers created these and a couple were outstanding – so much so that the final piece, a double CN Tower tipped metal representation of Toronto incited a bidding frenzy between yours truly and Sauci Calla Hora. I was secretly bidding to gift t to her and she was bidding to gift it to Burlesque legend Satan’s Angel (whom I heart greatly). In the end, Sauci won out at $245, which we both shared and the bra went to Angel – Can’t wait to see it on her :-)

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Toronto Burlesque Festival, Day 1

Posted on July 23rd, 2010

I arrived in a muggy Toronto and headed straight to the Gladstone Hotel, TBF Central and host to events tonight and tomorrow night.

The Festival kicked off with Naked Girls Reading, the salon-esque session created by Chicago’s Michelle L’amour that both celebrates the beauty and poise of the female form and also the intimacy of hearing their spoken word from personally chosen selections.

The theme of this years festival is “Metopolis, the Future of Burlesque”, so they all read sci-fi. I arrived a bit late, so missed the first few readings, but of the ones I did see and hear, I have to say this was pretty cool and beautiful to watch. And funny too as they all joined to read as different characters in a new comic book for the final piece. Kudos Ladies!

http://nakedgirlsreading.com/

Next it was the screening of Gary Beebers documentary “Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque” I was especially excited to see this as StripCHEEZ sponsored the screening and the stars were in attendance. It studies Dirty Martini, her work, life and community as one of the pioneers in New York’s neo-Burlesque scene. When she and her friends/co-stars started to perform as Burlesque dancers, there weren’t any current performers or even a dedicated scene to learn from. They came from a variety of backgrounds – and still do – studied the original pioneers of the art form and essentially created the new world of Burlesque that is becoming so prevalent now. They do what they do because they love it and they’re damn good at it – consistently entertaining and thought provoking. The documentary was crisp and giving credit to everyone interviewed on screen, very entertaining. Wonderful work Gary and I now have a crush on Dirty J

After the screening, the one, the only (seriously) Tigger! Took to the stage in a performance about marriage and then as host of the evening, introducing each of the documentary’s stars as they came onstage to give us a performance: Jo
Boobs” Weldon, Peekaboo Pointe, Julie Atlas Muz and the lady herself, Dirty Martini. Edgy and strong performances, mixed with great beauty and skill.

Gotta say that on behalf of StripCHEEZ, we’re hugely proud to have had the opportunity to bring the film to Toronto and personally, I’m hugely honored to get to know these interesting, thought-provoking and pretty damn cool artists.

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A Savage Review

Posted on July 21st, 2010

In case you haven’t read it…

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-burlesque-shoah/Content?oid=4399613

there you go!! Seattle based sexy columnist Dan Savage has caused an honest to god UPROAR over his review and general opinion about Burlesque and its future in an article posted on thestranger.com. The main meat of the article that seems to have every person’s (well not every person… but some persons) panties in a twist involve the fact that he actually gave a negative review (SHOCK! HORROR!) and that he suggests the scene won’t last long without higher standards from all involved. The comments after and on his facebook page range from complete agreement to angry outrage with the occasional burlesque is for fatties comment thrown in.

Me? I can see where he’s going with this. I think any connoisseurs of well.. anything! have an opinion on their favorite thing. Be it cooking shows, musak, or slam poetry. You have your opinion on what is good and what is bad. Different strokes for different folks or something like that. And we all have seen some bad Burly-Q. Bad Burlesque was in fact, what inspired me to try it. If those crazies can have some stage time… why not me? And thus the beginning of my end so to speak. But to demand absolute perfection from Burlesque? Sometimes performers are shitty. Sometimes even the best have a bad night and are shitty. Lack of preparation or experience or sometimes talent. I think we all got our start somewhere and I think that new performers should be allowed that grace period as well. How else will they improve? I think that if overall your show is entertaining we can survive a few diamonds in the rough. I think that the danger here in demanding only the super polished survive will result in losing some of what makes Burlesque truly beautiful. Its humanity. This is a grass roots art form. Arts and crafts basically. Here we are allowing regular girls and boys next door a chance to create and inspire. And to be less than perfect because God knows we are bombarded with that image every single minute in every single day. And its boring. And its unrealistic. And it makes people feel shitty because they can never live up to that standard. I can see absolute “perfect” (and I mean perfect in the most absolute sense in terms of performance and body) nearly naked girls dancing anytime. Vegas Showgirls, the Ballet, Pussycat Dolls, Crazy Horse in Paris, high end Strippers, any dancing girl on MTV.. I could go on and on and on. I think that the perfection of Burlesque sometimes lies in that imperfection. And celebrating that. For someone to see a body or person that isn’t perfect and still be beautiful and confident and creative! And maybe just possibly identify with that and think maybe I could do that. It’s magic if you ask me!!!! We are all creative beings. All of us. And seeing new performer’s vision and ideas and their bravery all come to fruition? I know it inspires me. I know I don’t want to see an entire show of shitty acts but honestly I never have. There might be a few that could have used some extra time in the studio and I have seen wardrobe malfunctions from every single performer I have ever seen. But its how they or the show carried on after; its a really nice metaphor if you think about it. There is no such thing as perfection in live performance. Not every time. Sounds like life to me.

I know negativity is a hard go. But I do think that negative reviews should be allowed and welcomed. How else are you going to know that it sucked!? And a little rejection can make you stronger in the long run. But I think that it should be limited to an honest review of the talent or performance and not body. Burlesque is beautiful because of the diversity. Skinny and Fat. Tall and Short. All of it. And honestly? Lets not get snotty. Community is another of the amazing things about this art. Instead of poverty thinking, maybe offer to help constructively? When you turn down that performer because they aren’t good enough, is it possible that you could say why its not right and maybe come back next year when you’ve put the time into it that it needs. And maybe, if you can’t help, maybe offer them a resource where they can find some?

I know we are all concerned about the future of Burlesque. But in my opinion there are some things that can’t go out of style! I think the comparison between bands and performers is a correct one. Some are going to suck, some are going to rule. Some are going to get better and some aren’t. The great will survive and the mediocre will probably move on to their next basket weaving project. It really is up to the producers at this point to offer variety in their shows, but with overall quality control. Its a delicate dance I do not envy.

However I do believe that the great cultural legacy in Burlesque lies in the beauty of imperfection and that you are giving regular people and just more people in general as this is such a do it yourself art (No one is going to make up your act for you) a voice and a chance to create something amazing. I love it when you are perfect, but I also love it when you aren’t.

Look what you did Dan!? You dialogue causer You!!

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DOC CHOCOLATE WANTS TO SMELL LIKE CHOCOLATE

Posted on July 8th, 2010

Doc Chocolate

Photo by VOODOO BILL KUSTOM PHOTOGRAPHY

How did you get involved in Bur/Boylesque?

My active involvement began with signing up for Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society’s “Becoming Boylesque” workshop classes. Prior to this I had been enjoying Kitty Nights at the Biltmore, and had attended a few Burlesque classes taught by Burgandy Brixx. I was made aware of Becoming Boylesque through one of Screaming Chickens Taboo Revue shows, and it appealed to me, so I signed up. It was a natural progression from there.

Whats your favorite act to perform?

It would have to be my “Shaft” number, which has become somewhat of a signature. I look forward to performing new and exciting acts in the near future!

Whats your favorite act that you’ve witnessed?

There are so many favorites. I will have to go with two moments prior to becoming involved in burlesque; two that stand out in memory. The first witnessing a Patrick Swayze/Dirty Dancing act, and the the second being a wild, hilarious group bar fight number. Watching those two acts really motivated me to become actively involved in the burlesque community.

Highlights thus far?

The Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas last June will stand out as one of my most memorable experiences thus far. Not only was it my first time in Vegas, but I went with 20+ fellow members of Screaming Chicken, and we performed on a Vegas stage! I’m quite proud of that. Being a part of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival this year was an honour as well as a highlight. Above all, I consider myself quite humbled by all of the amazing people I have met in the year I have been involved. My highlights are the people.

If you could smell like anything, what would that be?

Chocolate, of course. Specifically, cocoa butter.


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BHOF-Sunday

Posted on July 8th, 2010

I failed so hard on Sunday; it physically pains me!!! But let me tell you what I think is a bad idea. Putting a band on BEFORE the show is a bad BAD idea. They were a great band.. but to open?? One of my most hated things in the world is sitting and watching a band. Music is for dancing!!! And I tried. People were dancing in the aisles because this was a theatre. AGAIN WHY! Why must bands play in theaters. Boring. We need a dance floor!!! But it was midnight and the burlesque hadn’t even started yet. I was soooo tired and full of evil buffet that I HAD to leave. I had to. I was going to kill. I ended up barfing instead. So unfortunate. So very very unfortunate. SO ANYWAY.. all I can tell you is what I heard through the grapevine.. and really if it was worth talking about then it must be worth blogging about.

Everyone after would not stop about CHERRY TYPHOON! Cherry is from Tokyo Japan and is basically the cutest thing alive!! Missing this to me… is death.

SHANGHAI PEARL apparently was causing scandals. Started the ole stripper vs burlesque dialogue with this one. How far is too far!? Bla bla bla. You do realize Burlesque IS stripping right?? But I also heard that it was really beautiful. So there naysayers! So there.

and VENUS DEVILLE! Using that effing song Minnie the Moocher (Oh No!) She slowly became Minnie Mouse (Oh Yes!) with her final reveal turning her bra cups into Mouse ears. Genius.

Oh Burlesque Hall of Fame. The Highs.. the lows? No just the highs. So inspiring! We just got back and I’m already excited to see what next year will bring!

DEATH TO THE BUFFET!!!!! I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!!


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BHOF- Saturday

Posted on July 1st, 2010

The big day!!! El Competition!! Whoa! It’s A game time and everyone was bringing it! So the list of competitors was as follows:

BOYLESQUE:

Mister Burlesque (Melbourne, Australia)

Roky Roulette (San Francisco, CA)

The Evil Hate Monkey (Baltimore, MD)

GROUP:

The Amazing Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue (Stockholm, Sweden)

Chicago Starlets (Chicago, IL)

Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society (Vancouver BC, Canada)

Sweet Soul Burlesque (Vancouver BC, Canada)

VARIETY:

Lola Martinet & Tila von Twirl (Chicago, IL)

Mariel a la Mode (Los Angeles, CA)

Shabnam (San Francisco, CA)

DEBUT:

Ava Garter (Los Angeles, CA)

Cherry On Top (Vancouver BC, Canada)

Coco Framboise (Toronto, ONT, Canada)

Kisa von Teasa (Knoxville, TN)

Lola Frost (Vancouver BC, Canada)

Miss Hell’s Belle (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Ms Tickle (Brooklyn, NY)

Philly Caramel (Marlton, NJ)

Scarlett James (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Sydni Deveraux (Seattle, WA)

Tasia (Sydney, Australia)

MISS BHOF, THE REIGNING QUEEN OF BURLESQUE:

Amber Ray (Brooklyn, NY)

Kristina Nekyia (Los Angeles, CA)

Lux LaCroix (Los Angeles, CA)

Melody Mangler (Vancouver BC, Canada)

Midnite Martini (Denver, CO)

Mimi First (Chicago, IL)

Mimi LeMeaux (San Diego, CA)

Nasty Canasta (Brooklyn, NY)

Ophelia Flame (Minneapolis, MN)

Perle Noire (New Orleans, LA)

Renea’ Le Roux (Atlanta, GA)

Roxi Dlite (Windsor, Canada)

Sweetpea (Minneapolis, MN)

Trixie Little (Baltimore, MD)

Violet Eva (Tokyo, Japan)

Holy Eff! So much Burlesque action!! And to get right to the nitty gritty the winners were:

Most Innovative:  Ms. Tickle

Most Comical: The Evil Hate Monkey

Most Classic:  Mimi LeMeaux

Most Dazzling: Ms. Tickle

Best Debut: Ms. Tickle

Best Group: The Chicago Starlets

Best Variety Act: Lola Martinet and Tila Von Twirl

Best Boylesque: The Evil Hate Monkey

Queen of Burlesque 2nd Runner up:  Nasty Canasta

Queen of Burlesque 1st Runner up: Kristina Nekyia

Queen of Burlesque: Roxi Dlite

Ok there was seriously so much awesome I can’t even handle it let alone type about it all. Selected highlights according to me and again I say to you

***DISCLAIMER*** My opinion only and I’m STILL an idiot.

Ok soooo I was competing in best group with the Chickens so I missed stuff. Lame. I missed CHERRYONTOP!! LAME! I did get to see Lola Frost tho and I thought she was AMAZING! Omg! So hot! WAM BAM thank you Lola!! She seriously held her own and was one of my super favs in that category!! I am clearly partial.. but she was great! There were ALOT of giant props. Serious alot. A giant candy apple, a giant bull, giant wings, a giant swing, a giant cigar, giant lotus blossom.. and Lola didn’t need giant anything! I thought she was awesome all by herself!!   Goes to show there are some things you can’t buy! Ooo I said it. Jerksauce.  However, in terms of being friggin genius. It is true that Ms Tickle for sure took that category. As well as every other category. Super beautiful number starting out with white fans as a skirt ending up with them as wings?? Not one but two, ingenious ways to use fans other than just fans?? I can see why that went down the way it did!! My other fav in that category was SYDNI DEVEREAUX; she also did an untypical fan dance to african music and girl was amazing. Seriously loved it.

AMBER RAY is a goddess. Encrusted in rhinestone lotus everything she was the epitome of lust and tease; a true fantasy in every sense.

and ROXI DLITE.. oooo Roxi. You could tell she was not f*cking around. She came out and killed it. Not only amazing costume, concept, and giant cigar; She has mega skills when it comes to tease, performance and dance ability. She was the whole package and her win was 100% deserved. ALL HAIL.

The runners up were also freeking fab:

KRISTYINA NEKYIA came out of a smoke filled coffin and was scary and sexy at the same time. Quite the feat! Ending with black light paint awesomeness?? YES! Bloody Betty wet dream for real.

Nasty Canasta had a super cute number where the clothing she removed appeared on a picture video on the side of the stage. Brilliant!

Midnite Martini. Whoa. Flexible much!? She was super awesome amaze-o too!! Amazing stocking tricks and fabulous energy! One to watch for sure!!!

Loved SWEETPEA.. that girl can dance!!!! Holy Shiz!!

My only sadness is that there wasn’t really anything super funny. ok the Monkey was funny. Must mention EVIL HATE MONKEY on pointe shoes. Very entertaining. but aside from him. nothing. sigh. Guess thats not what we are going for.. stern but fair.  (but not funny)

In which case, so good that Miss Astrid is AMAZING! Almost better than the actual acts. Very dry- super hilarious. I fear her and want to be her at the same time. Her rendition of It’s a Man’s World at the end of the night was epic.

So Yah!! Burly overload!!!!! At this point its so late!!! And I’m so tired.. I didn’t even party after. I know… who does that!? But I was spent!  And there was still one more day after this!?? Dear God…

Hail the Queen!! Photo by: (somebody tell me and I’ll credit you!!)

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