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Archive for November, 2011

Miss Astrid’s State of the Union

Posted on November 27th, 2011

Um. Ya. So that happened. Definitely an interesting take on many things. It is a a very long piece that touches on alot of different issues that she has-it has been published for all to read HERE. Its hard to know where to stand, I think, for many people, when there are so many different issues brought forth. After I got over my initial anger at certain parts of it, I was able to offer this as my comment:

*It’s really long
*thought it was abit tacky to denounce newbies and hobbyists in that way at Burlycon- a place full of hobbyists and newbies; maybe that was the point.
*I think she did it because she cares ALOT.
*I think she did have some valid points
*I think valid points were lost on me at points due to tone (ever heard of a compliment sandwich? jesus…)
*I AM A WEIRDO. THERE AREN’T THAT MANY WEIRDOS IN THE WORLD. I THINK THE FIRST RULE OF BEING A WEIRDO IS TO SUPPORT OTHER WEIRDOS.
*Don’t coddle weaker performers but being constructive in your criticism is so important. Just ask them to work harder, or help them, but don’t ask them to give up.
*Work hard and make sure you are not producing shit is something I definitely, definitely agree with!!
*Being open for constructive criticism= yes
*I like the idea of a professional guild or union. Something for people to aspire to and a bottom line for what pros get paid. Good luck organizing that.
*I get the concern behind the using the word pageant. Even if its not applicable to BHOF, there are general assumptions about pageants that pageant girls are judged on beauty first. Also that if you participate in them, you aren’t intelligent. THIS and THIS sort of thing supports that thinking. However, is this just another case of women hating other women? I was a small town pageant queen- and in my opinion it was a really great experience because the emphasis was more on how you can help your community and become a better and more well rounded person in general. I think the gown part was worth 50 points out of 1000. Could we either change the event to be called Burlesque Olympics? Still have competition and opportunity to see greatness rewarded! Maybe have categories? Classic, Performance Art, Comedy? Or just repurpose the word pageant into becoming the kind of thing we want to see. Like Indigo has been doing!!! YOU ARE DOING AN AWESOME JOB INDIGO!!! DON’T STOP!!!!!!!!
*Its good to see dialogue happening regardless.

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Perle Noire Vs. The Sourpuss

Posted on November 27th, 2011

I love this!!! Omg I am such a superfan of hers for so many many reasons!!! I love that she dances with her whole heart, ya know? Follow Perle on Twitter or check out her website HERE

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RIP Burlesque Legend Joan Arline

Posted on November 27th, 2011

I’m late posting this but I definitely wanted to pay respects to one of my favorite legends. We only spoke briefly this last year at BHOF but Joan inspired me so much with her love of dance.  I loved her stories of overcoming adversity to dance again and I wanted to be just like her when I grow up. Still do.

Also please check out A Loving Farewell to read a wonderful send up for Joan at Burlesque Press Seattle

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The Truth about Ostrich Feather by Delilah Dare

Posted on November 27th, 2011

Delilah Dare (as I’ve previously mentioned) is one of my favorite, favorite performers!! In my mind, she perfectly masters the ideas of fusion in all of her acts. Either when its bellydance and striptease, or striptease and comedy, Delilah is ACE in my mind! Delilah has recently been on abit of a sabbatical in Africa and wrote a really great in-case-you-were-wondering note about Ostrich feathers. With her permission, I’m reposting it here- in case you were wondering!!

The Truth about Ostrich Feathers

Along with many of my performer friends I have a fascination (bordering on obsession) with ostrich feathers. I want to touch them, play with them, adorn myself in them from head to toe, letting their soft tendrils caress me as I fan them in front of me ummmm…… What can I say, its the best part of being a show girl.  However, I had never given much though to how the bird who originally wore the feathers felt about this.  One night, a couple years ago I was walking with a pair of giant ostrich feather fans, and a friend told me that she was entirely against these gorgeous accessories, stating “I am pro animal rights and a vegan, and its the same thing as wearing fur to me.” Although her sentiment didn’t sway my opinion of feathers, as a vegetarian, and an animal lover who attempts to be environmentally conscious, her statement did make me wondered weather or not the sale of ostrich feathers is ethical.  Certainly feathers can be sold ethically, I mean birds malt right? So theoretically feathers can be harvested without killing a bird. I even saw on ebay a woman selling the malted feathers from her pet parrot once. However, I’d be lying if I said I knew where the feathers I buy come from, and most probably some birds died in the process of making me look fabulous on stage. Does this make mean my love for feathers trumps my love for ethical treatment of animals? This dilemma has made me question the ethics of the sale of feathers, particularly ostrich feathers, for a while now.

Recently, while in South Africa, I had a chance to visit an ostrich farm and was finally able to answer my questions.  I decided to share this information with my fellow performers as I know several of you have been curious about this as well. So her it is. The truth about ostrich feathers.

The sale of ostrich feathers is not inherently un-ethical!  Ostriches do not malt, so feathers do have to be harvested from the bird.  However, one can cut the feathers about 3 inches before the nerve and the ostrich does not feel a thing, and the feathers will re-grow in about 12 months.  This means that if one were, hypothetically, keeping ostriches for the purpose of harvesting and selling feathers, to kill the bird would have no monetary value, in fact quite the opposite, as one could get many crops of feathers from the same bird as the feathers re-grow.  However, in reality people do not really keep ostriches for the feathers.

Of the three products that come from ostriches (not including eggs) feather production is the least lucrative.  Even with the thriving resurgence of neo-cabaret entertainment, most people do not buy ostrich feathers.  The most lucrative part of the bird is its meat, and the second its skin (ostrich leather is second most durable skin product after Kangaroo).  What does this mean?  Basically most people who own ostriches do kill them, as they want to sell their meat and their skin, and while they are at it, they might as well sell the feathers too. Therefore, the bird who grew those feathers you wear was probably killed. However, it is not the sale of the feathers that supports this industry, nor the killing of the birds. In fact, if the meat and leather industries folded and the feather industry persisted, there would be no need to kill the birds at all.  Therefore, the ostrich feather industry is not inherently un-ethical.  Still don’t get it… use your imagination for a second…imagine someone…say a group of show girls…decides they want to buy a couple ostriches and keep them solely for the purpose of producing feathers, with no desire at all to produce meat or leather, it would be entirely un-advantageous for them to kill one of their birds, as they would lose several crops of feathers from this.  Rather it would make sense to keep all the birds alive, happy and in good health so that they continue to grow new crops of healthy, glossy, fast growing feathers.

So there you have it, being a show girl and supporting animal rights are not mutually exclusive!

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