Friday, July 27, 2007

NYBF Performers!

The New York Burlesque Festival has announced their performer line-up:

Murray Hill, NYC
Scotty the Blue Bunny, NYC
Miss Astrid, NYC
Albert Cadabra, NYC

The World Famous *BoB*, NYC
Angie Pontani, NYC
Delilah Samson, London
Creamy Stevens, NYC
Imogen Kelly, Australia
Peekaboo Pointe, NYC
Tigger, NYC
Michelle Lamour, Chicago
Rose Wood, NYC
Bonnie Dunn, NYC
Miss Delirium Tremens, NYC
Darlinda Just Darlinda, NYC
Dottie Lux, NYC
Bloody Belle, Chicago
Jonny Porkpie, NYC
Nasty Canasta, NYC
Vivienne Vavoom, Denver
Jo Boobs, NYC
Gal Friday, NYC
Helen Pontani, NYC
Ruby Valentine, NYC
Lux La Croix, LA
Amber Ray, NYC
Lukki, NYC
Little Brooklyn, NYC
Lola Pearl, NYC
Kellita of Hot Pink Feathers, SF
Ruby White, LA
Gwendoline Lamour, London
Diamond Back Annie, LA
Miss Saturn, NYC
Tigerlil, Australia
Harvest Moon, NYC
Orchid Mei, Denver
Vivian Velvet, Chicago
Black Cat Burlesque, Boston
Clams Casino, NYC
Fanny Tastic, Chicago
La JohnJoseph, NYC
The White Boom Boom, NYC

Budoir Bondage, Sweden
Wasabassco Burlesque, NYC
Kissing Cousins, NYC
Anita Cookie & Scott Rayow, NYC
Skin Tight Outta Sight, Toronto
Fannie Spankings & Charlie Champale, Denver
Big Apple Burlesque, NYC
Belladonnas De Lux, Australia
The Peach Tartes, NYC
Dames Aflame, Atlanta
Verotica 143, Seattle
Gravity Plays Favorites, St Louis
The World Famous Pontani Sisters, NYC
Black Cat Burlesque, Boston
Honey Touche & Lexi Demure, Denver

So... what do you think? Acts you're looking forward to? New faces you're excited to see? Good variety/representation? Something missing? Or are festivals just not your cup of tea so you really don't have an opinion?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Keeping your burlesque life a secret from your day job?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

"I recently started a new 9 to 5 desk job after having spent several years working at a retail store. The owners and customers at my previous job were very accepting of my burlesque endeavors, to the point that they'd come to shows and I could talk about my troupe and appearances at work. It was actually a benefit for them, in a way, because I was an attraction to younger clients. Now I'm at a company that's very image focused, even with their employees. They know I'm an "actress" - I didn't hide my performing background during the interview process, just the specifics of it. There are several people at the firm that have been pestering me about when my performances are, including a VP. I feel a lot of pressure to keep things under wraps (I'm also a fetish model). I've never had to be so secretive about my "other life" before. Am I making much ado about nothing, or should I proceed with care?"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

--From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Burlesque stage names come in all shapes and sizes, just like the performers they're tagged to. From the punny, the sexy, the off-beat, the clever and the completely unique, stage names are one way that people transform themselves from their ordinary lives into their extraordinary lives onstage. How did you come to pick your stage name? Does it have a special meaning, other than the obvious?

And for those who are not on stage, but fans of the bump and grind - What goes into a great burlesque stage name? What are some of your favorite burly-q names?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Your favorite burlesque tributes?

You pay homage to a certain special someone or something in your act. A trendsetter of burlesque, perhaps. An icon of dance... or fashion... A starlet of days gone by... Or maybe it's your expression of praise for your hometown, your favorite team, or a REALLY exceptional piece of pie (mmmmm... pie). Tributes - who's got the best ones on the burlesque stages?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who are your fans?

Who are the folks that come to see your shows? Do you have any super fans that stand out from the crowd? Burlesque groupies? Are there particular types of people that are attracted to you as a performer or troupe? What is your fan base like?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What is your burlesque education?

What is your burlesque education like? Have you taken burlesque classes or workshops? Or has your burlesque education been something less formal?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Week in Review

Thank you to this week's contributors:

Holly Rebelle
Jack Midnight
Jo Weldon
Paris Green
Zeugma aka Jezebel Express

Please feel free to continue posting to any topic from previous weeks. Topics will always remain open. If they get too far gone down the blog, feel free to call for a bump and I will re-post the questions so you don't have to search the archives for them.

Footnotes for the week of 7/15/07

In the course of our discussion, performers, venues, websites and other burlesque departures were discussed or featured in the daily topics or comments section. Here are footnotes and further reading/viewing from this week's discussion.

Working with rhinestones?

Product info on the Crystal Innovations Bejeweler Crystal Fire
Delirium Tremens performing at Miss Exotic World 2006
Astral Beads
Product info on E-6000 Craft Adhesive and directions on how to use it
Product info on Fabri-tac Adhesive
Sweetpeas Beads and Treasures

In Memorium

Muñeca Cruel aka Alejandra Tardiff
Her dance group, the Nudie Kewpies

Brian Chic - Hollywood's premier whip artist. Tributes and memories have been compiled on this site.
A portrait by P.S. Zollo
The Society of American Whip Artistry will be doing a tribute to Brian and giving a special award in his name at the 2007 Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase in Greenville, Ohio, July 27 - 29th.

Pat Brice remembered at, The Bastion, at Time Out Chicago, Fearless Radio and The Chicago Tribune.
Pat Brice on, in "Rent or Own?", in "Charity Booze"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Burlesque and Body Type?

In Michelle Baldwin's book Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind, Miss Astrid is quoted:

"Does an eagle cry because it's not a swan? No. Is a dove sad because it's not a flamingo? No. And so it should be, ladies and gentlemen, with women. Different shapes, different sizes, tall, short, fat, thin are all beautiful."

Part of the neo-burlesque movement has been an acceptance of all sizes and shapes of performers and with groups like the Glamazons taking the airwaves on "America's Got Talent" it would seem that the general public is catching on as well. Do you personally find the community to be one that celebrates and accepts different body types? Or do you find that certain shapes and sizes gain more attention and success?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When does a gimmick pass into the public domain?

As sort of a follow up to Jack's question from yesterday - when does a gimmick pass from being a signature act into the public domain?

We can credit certain performers as having pioneered a burlesque "thing" - the most obvious in my mind being Sally Rand and her feather fan dance. Her fan dance, once a signature act, is now part of the common language of our community. No one performer owns the idea, though there are many variations on the theme.

Satan's Angel, whose signature act involves twirling fire tassels, has been teaching workshops to a new generation of burlesque performers in her particular "thing." It is my understanding that despite passing on this technique to multiple parties, she is very protective of her signature act and only allows those with her permission to perform it, even from her own pool of students (hence a somewhat public kerfuffle post-Exotic World).

At what point does a gimmick become community property? When is it part of the vernacular?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Are there any new ideas in burlesque?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

After so many decades, are there any new ideas (or gimmicks) in burlesque, specifically striptease? Or are we merely revisiting and rethinking several core concepts, such as the bubble dance, the balloon dance, the fan dance, etc... For instance, Dita von Teese in her book "Burlesque and the Art of Teese", discusses her famous martini glass dance number at length. Isn't it fair to say that the martini glass dance is just a modern update of the classic champagne glass dance of the 30's? She even discusses that Catherine D'Lish performs in a giant champagne glass. Is there anything new under the burlesque sun?

Jack Midnight

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our thoughts and prayers...

This past weekend the Los Angeles and Chicago burlesque communities both lost dear friends and performers.

Augusta from posted the following to the missexoticworld listserv:

One of my Nudie Kewpies, Alejandra Tardiff, aka Muñeca, suffered a brain aneurysm. She had just performed with me last Sunday, and sometime on Monday went into a coma. There was too much brain damage and she passed away Friday.

Muñeca had been belly dancing with Princess Farhana and had been a part of my show since March. She just made her burlesque debut in June.

Augusta also brought to our attention as well to the loss of Los Angeles whip artist and variety performer Brian Chic last month at his home in Burbank, California.

From Paris Green of Belmont Burlesque:

It is with great sadness that we must report that our friend and sometime guest performer, Pat Brice, has passed away. He was 29.

Pat was a regular contributor to the comedy website and performed at venues across the country and around Chicago, including The Lincoln Lodge, The Chicago Underground and Zanie's. Pat co-hosted the Fearless Radio show "Visitor's Locker Room" which won Wi-Fi Magazine's "Best New Podcast" award in 2005. Pat was also featured frequently on burlesque stages in Chicago, a regular guest comedian with shows like Michelle L'Amour's Star and Garter Burlesque and our own Belmont Burlesque Revue.

Our deepest sympathy and thoughts go out to all his friends and family.

We encourage you to keep Pat's comedy alive by reading and listening to his work at or by visiting Fearless Radio at which will be replaying episodes of Visitor's Locker Room in tribute to Pat.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these performers.

How much time do you devote to burlesque?

How much time do you spend on your burlesque activities (whatever they may be)? Is burlesque a hobby in which your time spent is a labor of love? Have you turned your burlesque time into a career of some sort? Or is burlesque an all consuming obsession that eats up every moment of your life?

How much time do you devote to burlesque?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Working with rhinestones?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

Here's a question for the costume mavens out there... What is the best method for applying or working with Swarovski flatbacks? How about specifically to lingerie pieces like bras and thongs that go through a lot more wear and tear? I haven't quite got the knack yet and find that my sparkly embellishments start to fall off after a wearing or two or three. Any tips?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Week in Review

Big thanks to The Candy Pitch, readers at Mister Burlesque and Jo Weldon on her LiveJournal page and posting to the Burlesque Today group for sending traffic this way.

It was a great way to start off our first week here with actual comments and discussion rather than crickets chirping. Thank you to this week's contributors:

Cherche LaFemme
Holly Rebelle
Jack Midnight
Jo Weldon
Laura Herbert
Michelle Baldwin
Paris Green
RunAround Sue
Scarlett Letter
Zeugma aka Jezebel Express

Please feel free to continue posting to any topic from previous weeks. Topics will always remain open. If they get too far gone down the blog, feel free to call for a bump and I will re-post the questions so you don't have to search the archives for them.

Footnotes for the week of 7/8/07

In the course of our discussion, performers, venues, websites and other burlesque departures were discussed or featured in the daily topics or comments section. Here are footnotes and further reading/viewing from this week's discussion.

What is burlesque?

Abbott and Costello in "Who's on First"
The Burlesque Hall of Fame
Don Rickles on the Dean Martin Variety Hour
Lenny Bruce on The Steve Allen Show
Minsky's Burlesque
Mister Burlesque
The New York Burlesque Festival
Pinchbottom Burlesque at Exotic World 2007 (Winners, Best Duo)
Pretty Things
Sherry Britton
The Slipper Room
The women of Starshine Burlesque answer the question What is burlesque? for
The Suicide Girls performing on their Burlesque Tour
Tempest Storm performing a classic striptease
Tyler Fyre

Who is the most underrated burlesque performer?

Amber Ray at Burlesque Blitz 2007
Ami Goodheart - Showgirl of the Universe
Belmont Burlesque Revue - History Repeating
Bette Midler as Delores DeLago
Bloody Belle at The Girlie-Q Variety Hour
Christopher Walken's striptease from Pennies From Heaven
Frenchie Kiss
Harvest Moon at The Slipper Room
Jack Midnight sings at The Belmont Burlesque Revue
Jared Logan muses on The Complete Breakfast
Kitty Diggins
Lucy Fur performing at Lucha Va Voom's Valentine's Sextacular
Michelle Carr (aka Valentina Violette)
Michelle L'Amour in "Your Biggest Fan"
Miss Saturn on the game show This! or That!
Ms Tickle
Star and Garter Burlesque
Torchy Taboo

You Don't Own Me - Burlesque or Performance Art?

Albert Cadabra performs boylesque at Exotic World 2007 (video in 3 parts)
Julie Atlas Muz interviewed on Something Weird, with clips of her winning Exotic World 2006 performance

What is your local burlesque scene like?

Bella Donna Burlesque
Belmont Burlesque Revue - "History Repeating"
Burlesque Noir performs "Violently Happy"
Bustout Burlesque
Fleur de Tease
Kittie Irreverent
Michelle L'Amour in "Your Biggest Fan"
The Pussycat Dolls perform "Pink Panther/Fever" live
September Smith

Prime Time Burly-Q?

The Glamazons performance on America's Got Talent 2
Some of the message board threads concerning Michelle L'Amour from the America's Got Talent website

Videotaping burlesque?

The New York Burlesque Festival
Tease-O-Rama Burlesque Convention
Windows Movie Maker 2.1 Download

If you have topics you'd like to discuss here on the Forum or news items you'd like posted, please email them to the Forum Administrator and we'll queue them up.

Friday, July 13, 2007

How do you go about videotaping burlesque?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

Hey Guys - So, I havent been performing very long and have just recently had the confindence to consider applying to the trifecta of great festivals in the U.S. But, then when I download the application and started to work on it I am confronted with the need for footage. I worry and worry over how to get a great quality video, do I need to have it edited with titles? Is it really appropriate to rent a studio and shoot something, or is it better to use footage from a show? Or should I try to find a theatre apart from a show and shoot one day when it's empty? I have some footage from numbers at shows, but the quality is fair and I worry fair wont pass. Unfortunatley, I get so overwhelemed I tell myslef I am obviously not ready and therefore never complete the application. Well, it is time to grown a better backbone! I missed the deadline for the NYBF (but will hopefully get to volunter) but have committed to applying to Tease-o-rama. My partner in crime, Lady Satan, will be relocating out to SF later this month -so, no more excuses!!! At least thats what I thought - till I downloaded the application and starting biting my nails trying to figure out if the footage I have is up to par and if not - how can I economically put together something professional! Please help me!!! xoxoxo

Thanks so much,
RunAround Sue

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prime Time Burly-Q?

It's summer and television has taken a backseat to vacations, barbeques and other fun in the sun. The networks have packed their schedules with a lot of filler - especially of the reality show variety - in the meantime.

It was on one of these very filler reality shows that burlesque history got made last summer. On the competitive talent show, "America's Got Talent," Miss Exotic World 2005, Michelle L'Amour performed burlesque striptease not once, but twice, for a prime time, network television viewing audience. While it may not have been the ideal way to educate the American public about burlesque, it certainly reached a record number of them in their homes, spilled over to the Internet via message boards and fan websites and even got mentions on entertainment news shows like The Soup on E!

Here is Michelle's first round performance, complete with judge Brandy's bitchface:

Here is her semi-final performance, with KITT the car:

Michelle certainly did the best she could to represent, as it were, given the parameters of the show she was competing on.

So let's say, hypothetically speaking, you've been tapped by the networks to represent the burlesque community in prime time. It doesn't matter if you're a performer, superfan, producer, historian, etc. You're going to be an "ambassador" of burlesque in some manner, you get to dictate what that means. You can pick the show you're appearing on, so long as it's during the prime time block (and you're not suddenly inventing a new genre of television show that currently doesn't exist). What would you do?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What is your local burlesque scene like?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

I feel like I don't have a very good idea of what burlesque is like outside of maybe New York or Los Angeles. I kind of feel like that's all I ever hear about. It seems like there is at least a troupe/show or two going on in most of the big cities across the US. I would think everybody has a different flavor going on and I'd be interested to hear about that.

What is your local burlesque scene like? How many shows/troupes/performance venues are there? What styles are present? What do you think sets your city apart? Share with us a little about your local "flavor."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

News Item: 11th Anniversary Sale

If you're at a burlesque show and someone's on stage doing a fan dance or decked out in feathers, there's an awfully good chance that fan and those feathers came from the one and only

They've marched the World's Longest Feather Boa down Fremont Street in Vegas during Exotic World:

...and now they're turning 11.

11th Anniversary Half Price Sale

ostriches on line and celebrate their 11th Anniversary during the month of July 2007

For 11 days & 11 hours, everything in stock is 50% off.

The sale begins at 11:11pm on 11 July and finishes on 23 July 2007 11:11am CST

To shop from the US

To shop from the UK

To shop wholesale

For full details about the sale go here

You Don't Own Me - Burlesque or Performance Art?

Julie Atlas Muz, Miss Exotic World 2006, has been the center of controversy for her particular performance style - and its less than traditional take on burlesque. Julie has been described as a choreographer/conceptual performance artist/burlesque sensation.

The following video is Julie's farewell performance from this year's Miss Exotic World Pageant, posted by YouTube user nofimag. It should be warned that this video contains nudity (it's an Exotic World performance, natch), so watch at your own discretion.

Love it or hate it, the performance generated an interesting question - is this burlesque? Given Julie's love to blur the line between burlesque and performance art, was this a successful experiment in neo-burlesque expression or should this be considered a performance art piece? Or at this stage of the game in neo-burlesque is there any difference between the two?

News Item: New Burlesque Message Board

A new burlesque message board has started up over at

We certainly encourage any means of furthering discussion regarding burlesque and other performing arts. The board seems to be fairly new, like The Burlesque Forum, so there's not a lot of posts and discussion going on there yet. If you've been craving a place to get some advice or just chat about things, head over there and help it flourish. We're only as good as the community we create, right?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Who is the most underrated burlesque performer?

Now that the pomp and pageantry of Exotic World is over and done with... here's your chance to sing the praises of the performers that you feel are the most underrated in the burlesque community. Maybe they're from the local troupe in your town and they don't do the national conventions and festivals. Maybe they are simply the most fantastic tassel twirlers you've ever seen. Give 'em their props here.

Who is currently the most underrated burlesque performer?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What is burlesque?

What better way to start off a discussion on burlesque than to define the term itself? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, burlesque is:

1. A literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style.

2. A ludicrous or mocking imitation; a travesty: The antics of the defense attorneys turned the trial into a burlesque of justice.

3. A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease.

It can be argued, however, that the neo-burlesque movement has changed the definition of what burlesque is and what it includes. Perhaps it has evolved into something more than just a variety show? Beyond just parody and mockery?

What is your definition of burlesque?