Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plot It Out in Black & White

I've been working on my five year plans and goals for the past few weeks, and it has kicked my ass!  It's an intense and wonderful challenge to plot out a career instead of seeing where the wind takes me.  I did six month goals for 2014 and 2015, quarterly goals for 2012 and 2013, monthly goals for 2011, weekly goals for January 2011, and daily goals for today through January 7.  In doing this, I realized that I have to keep my nose to the grindstone and get something done on my dance career every day if I want to reach those five year targets.

I suggest you get out some paper and give it a try.  And prepare to take breaks because it is intense!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

100 Crunches

A few years ago I worked out four to six times a week.  I weighed 101 lbs. of pure muscle.  Then I gradually returned to a life of gluttony, drinking beer on occasion and eating as much when I was working out once a week as I did when I worked out far more.  I had a couple injuries that kept me from being as active and gained a little weight.  I don't want to drop down to 101 lbs. again, but I would like to lose five to ten pounds and gain some muscle back.

For the past three days, I've made a point of doing 100 crunches.  It takes maybe three minutes to do 100 crunches, and it's easy to vary them so it's not boring.  I do at least twenty reverse crunches for my low abs each time.  It's easy to get into the habit of 100 crunches a day.  I recommend you try it if you're feeling a little guilty about holiday eating.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 6 of 10:  My last chair class in this series was Sunday.  It was a great series and I highly recommend you study with Gabrielle if you get the chance.  I got inspiration for my next chair dance, and I was reminded of how sexy performance can be when you take it slow.  In Los Angeles, we're generally limited to an act that's four minutes or less.  There's not a lot of room to take it slow in four minutes.  This class reminded me to find places to really tease.

My hope is that I can take more classes with Gabrielle in 2011.  She really is an amazing teacher.

December 10 Challenge: Vixen Hop

Class 5 of 10:  I ventured over to Evolve Dance Studio with dear friend Evie Lovelle on Saturday for another dose of Vixen Hop (sexy hip hop).  (I suggest you find a friend who is up for accepting challenges with you.  I took an aerobic Bollywood class and yoga with Evie, she's taken Fosse and this class with me.)  We were the white girls in class, and it was quite evident in the "dance fight" the teacher had us do with the choreography we learned in class.  To put it politely, we got served.

This class is fun and gets the body warm and sweaty, but it's not a technique class like the ones I usually take.  A number of the moves don't have names, and the warm up is high impact.  I suggest you warm up your neck and shoulders slowly before class starts so you don't cramp anything like I did.  Wear tennis shoes and prepare to sweat if you take this class.  I'll probably take the class again since it is a fun workout, and so Evie and I can work on our electric boogaloo.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanking Your Audience

I love the rituals of dance.  One of the important rituals that is forgotten too often in burlesque is the bow.  Too many performers run offstage at the end of their numbers without acknowledging the audience and saying "that's all folks" with a bow or final tableau.  There's a wonderful article on the history of the bow and the tradition as a gesture of gratitude here.  (Even though Dance Spirit Magazine is directed at an audience of preteen to college age dancers, every month has some wonderful tidbit or other.)

Bows are important.  You can bow as yourself or as your character, all depending on how the piece ends.  If a bow doesn't seem to fit your number, hold a final tableau past the end of the song while the audience applauds wildly.  If there is a curtain call at the end of the show, take the time you're given to express your gratitude to the audience by bowing.  It's part of the ritual. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Swing I

Class 4 of 10: Tuesday night was our last swing class in the series. I sported an Ace bandage on my right hand from a video game-induced case of thumb tendonitis. Mr. Snapper had a sore knee from wearing a fake splint for several hours the night before. While I usually don't mind changing partners in class, I decided to stick with the mister for this class. He would be considerate of my injury and I would work with his bum knee.

A wonderful thing about this class is that we missed the previous week and were able to catch up because she reviewed the prior lessons. We learned two new turns, etiquette of asking someone to dance, and how to finish a dance with a dip. It really enjoyed the series and the chance to exercise as a couple. I plan to return for the next round of swing in the new year if our schedules allow.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 3 of 10:  Last night was my second of three chair dance classes at Aphrodite.  Most of the new section of choreography dealt with floor work.  It was a reminder to me to bring knee pads to her classes (she has spares).  Knee pads are a smart addition to any student's dance class bag.

Gabrielle is a wonderful choreographer.  Her moves create wonderful tension for the audience, and I'm glad I'm back studying with her after my three year burlesque journey.  It's nice to return, pick up some new moves and have more aesthetic judgment than when I started studying with her in February 2006.

Monday Night Tease! presents Stripplepalooza

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents
STRIPPLEPALOOZA - SOLD OUT!
An evening of way too many performers doing amazing things to help raise money for our resident “Stripple” Ms Lili VonSchtupp.

Come out for a night of entertainment and help raise cash for Lilii’s knee surgery bills.

burlesque and variety performances by:

Anastasia Von Teaserhausen
Olivia D'Hellion
Dizzy Von Damn!
Prix de Beaute
Iza La Vamp
Iona Vibrator
Isabella Star
Dia Blow
Jersey Sure
Ali Oops
Patrick The Bank Robber
The Cholo Magician
Scot Nery
Buster Balloon
Mr Buddy
Mr Snapper
Lee T. Killer
Funny Eddie Dot Com
Red Snapper
Estella Detroit
The retirement of “Bad Knee”

and a special guest performance
by Burlesque Legend Ms Satan’s Angel


Bar Opens: 6pm 
Seating Starts: 9:30pm 
Show Starts: 10pm 

Cover charge for December 13, 2010
$15  (all funds go directly to Lili’s medical bills.)

Bring cash for our merchandise area, fun prizes and new Monday Night Tease! and Stripple shirts.

Ask about our Sino Tequila drink specials!

3 Clubs 
1123 Vine St. 
(Vine at Santa Monica) 
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goals & Plans, or 'How I Melted My Brain'

My husband is taking a film business class while I'm in dance history.  Over the past few weeks, they've been discussing five-year goals and the plans to attain them in the industry, and the discussions have followed us home.  I've considered the long-term when deciding to end relationships and pursuits of certain activities, taking into account if I really saw myself enjoying the time I spent on those things in a few years.

I'm in burlesque for the long haul, but I haven't figured out my long-term goals.  (Here I am, brutally honest and vulnerable on the internet again.  At least I'm dressed.)  I'm reading "Long-term Creating," chapter 15 of Creating by Robert Fritz; Mr. Snapper brought it home from class for me.  It's pretty intense.  I highly recommend it for anyone to read.  I'm sure I'll spend a couple hours this weekend tackling my long-term goals in this field and how I can reach them.  Every decision I make in my career should contribute in some way to reaching those goals.

I'll have to make sure the Doodlebug is nearby while I tackle this so I have someone to keep me from getting too serious and stuck in my head.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Vixen Hop

Class 2 of 10:  I took my first hip hop class yesterday.  I popped over to Evolve Dance Studio for their vixen hop class.  When I saw the energy and body of the teacher, I knew I needed to hit my inhaler for my anerobic asthma; I'm so glad I did.

This was a high energy, aerobic class that gave me an intense workout.  I was drenched from head to toe for most of the class.  It was challenging and interesting and fun.  I know my body is trained for pointed toes, turned out feet and pretty fingers; hip hop has flexed, parallel feet, bent elbows and fists.  I knew I would look like an awkward dork in my first class so I didn't look at myself in the mirror.  I watched the teacher in the mirror instead and tried to duplicate her moves.  My body is very sore, my abs are very worked, and I look forward to returning.

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 1 of 10:  I'm going out of sequence on this.  I took my first dance class of the month yesterday, and I'll blog on that one later.  I'm just so darned excited about this chair dance workshop with Gabrielle of Aphrodite Pole Dance Fitness Studio.  You see, Gabrielle was my local teacher for the pole infomercial.  She was such an amazing teacher I continued studying with her for two years before my burlesque schedule became too hectic to continue classes.  I was delighted to see her offering a three-class series of chair choreography at a time that worked for me.

Gabrielle's classes are very good for me.  They give me permission to let my hair down (literally) and give into the music completely.  There is specific choreography, but it's not as technical for me as other classes where I absolutely must see myself in the mirror to be sure my posture and placement are correct.  She's a great teacher, very encouraging and brilliant with nurturing students to demonstrate sexiness.

We learned the first minute and a half of the choreography today.  It was quite a workout for my abs and legs, but I think I felt it more because of yesterday's hip hop workout.  It's a sexy routine.  I look forward to learning the rest over the next two weeks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sass, Class & a Spray Tanned Ass

TI got a spray tan two weeks ago for Monday Night Tease's "A Night at the Strip Club" show. I'm a pasty white girl, so I thought the spray tan would add another layer of dimension to my Motorbutt routine. (I hope to have more photos to share. For now, this snapshot backstage photo bombed by Ali Oops will have to suffice.)

I wanted a good spray tan since I had four shows between the procedure and the time it would likely be worn off. I went on Yelp and found a makeup artist who airbrushed me in 15 minutes. What she didn't tell me was that I needed to dress like I had a sunburn -- in loose clothing that barely covered my body and super loose shoes. I had a consultation an hour after my tanning so I dressed for that, and I had to go home and change. There was also spare tanning stuff that I couldn't wash off for a few hours. That stuff rubbed off onto my clothes and pooled below my boobs. It did wash off evenly, as promised.

The tan looked good while it lasted. I got the full body tan, so my vagina looked like it had basked for a while in the warm California sun. I would be willing to do it again.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents A BURLESQUE CHRISTMAS CAROL

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents A BURLESQUE CHRISTMAS CAROL

When Peepshow decides to do a holiday show, they do it big. Join us as we bring you a risque burlesque stage adaptation of the classic holiday tale that will have you screaming, "Oh, Dickens!". In the first of TWO shows we are doing in December, we bring you A BURLESQUE CHRISTMAS CAROL!

Starring
...PATRICK THE BANK ROBBER as Ebenezer Scrooge
MR. SNAPPER as Bob Crotchit

With Burlesque Performances by
MISS ANGIE CAKES as The Ghost Of Christmas Past
DIZZY VON DAMN! as The Ghost Of Christmas Present
SCARLETT LETTER as The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come
RED SNAPPER as Mrs. Crotchit
KATE FOX as Fran Scrooge
ANASTASIA VON TEASERHAUSEN as Belle Fezziwig
ISABELLA STAR & PINKY PETITE as The Lamplighter Vamps

with our 29th 'Peepshow Pin-Up'
SCARLET O'KELJUS as Jackie Marley

A special guest performances by
RENEA' LE ROUX
and
RANAMA RED

Special Guest Star
REX THE IMPOSSIBLE

and MORE yet to be announced!

Featuring a live music set from SOPHYA ST. JAMES
(formerly of the L.A. based neu-wave band NEW COLLAPSE)

You've never seen a burlesque show like this one. There will be a full bar, a burlesque merch booth, and prizes for lucky audience members!

Live at BORDELLO
901 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Full Bar / 21 & Up, Doors open at 9pm
Music starts at 9:30 / Burlesque Show at 10:15
Please arrive early for best seating for this special show
Admission: $10 (cash) at the door

For more show info and performer bios go to:
http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/1210Ashow.htm

Bookmark http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/ for special updates and add our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peepshow-Menagerie/44966662778

OC Weekly Slideshow

Photo by Mary Bell.  You can see more shots from last Wednesday's Uncommon Burlesque here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 10 Challenge: The Wrap-Up

As you can see from my posts, I only made it through 7.5 of my November 10.  With heavy academic work early in the month, I knew I was challenged.  I tried to fit in three additional classes over the Thanksgiving holiday when things slowed down in my life, but most studios that I frequent were closed for the entire weekend.  In fact, I prepaid for a class on Saturday at a studio that was open and was called a couple hours later and told the class was canceled for low attendance.  (That studio gave me an additional class for the hassle of not giving me four hours notice.  I have to use the three classes I now have on account with them this month.)

The main obstruction to my ten classes this month was professional dancing work.  I had so many gigs this month, and I had the two "flash" mob appearances added into the equation requiring rehearsal, recruitment and coordination.  This is the best reason not to hit my student goal since I was out actually doing.  My performances this month were more vulnerable than usual, giving more personal expression and working for more audience connection.  While I was in the field, I was still learning.

I don't know that the educational process will ever stop for me.  I finish my law & media and dance history & appreciation classes at the local college this month.  I also finish my swing series.  If everything pans out, I'll get through those three prepaid classes, a prepaid flexibility class, an a chair dance series.

Wait, that's seven classes.  Can I do a December 10 around my finals and long days of day jobbing?  Hmmm.

November 10 Challenge: Swing I & the Half Class

Class 7 of 10:  Last night was my fourth swing class.  I'm not counting my steps as much, my dance frame is better and I'm not trying to back lead as frequently.  Last night we worked on our triple step basic and I partnered with two students I hadn't before.  It was lots of fun, and I'm sad that I have to miss next week but I have a gig.

Class 7.5 of 10:  I ran out of time to do my 10 classes this month, so I decided to work with a dance instructional video Monday night to boost my count.  I pulled out a beta video from when I was part of the Flirty Girls infomercial test group four years ago.  (I still haven't received my videos for my participation and it's been four years with emails going to the production company from several of the 30 women who participated in the Los Angeles test group.)  I put on the chair dance video with choreography I learned in 2006.  What I noticed was that as a dancer I need choreography given by counts and not by the lyrics.  I can follow when lyrics match choreographed counts, but I need the counts to match the duration of the move.  If a leg extension takes place over six beats, don't count to three or four when you're trying to teach me the move.  I'm very aware of that as a teacher and choreographer, and it makes me nuts as a dancer.  I could only deal with 45 minutes of the video, which is why I'm only counting this as a half class.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Letter Follies at Pat's Cocktails

Live Burlesque with a DJ.

Have some Food, have a drink - sit back and enjoy the view

Scarlett Letter
Red Snapper
Vixen Magdalene
Miss Angiecakes
Panama Red
Spy Kitten

DJ Chris Beyond

No Cover - show will be spread out through out the night - so stop by anytime.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One More Round of BURLESQUE

Tonight at Circus Disco the Striptease Symposium All-Stars are making another appearance with my choreography.  Slated to go on at midnight to perform for an estimated 2500 people, I will join the team if I get out of my other gig in time.  This time we're going down to pasties since we're not dancing in front of a movie multiplex.

Uncommon Burlesque - Bringing You a Terrific Spread

Everyone knows you don't really want to be home on Thanksgiving Eve, so come out, have a drink, and enjoy a terrific spread with some burlesque beauties. Our third show in Newport features
Panama Red
Sophia Sirena
Jessabelle Thunder
Tori Adorable
Red Snapper
special guest Mr. Snapper
and your hostess, Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008, Dizzy Von Damn!

No Cover, 9:30 pm start
Reservations and early arrival strongly encouraged.
Valet Parking

November 10 Challenge: Swing I

Class 6 of 10:  This is the first dance class I've taken in a week.  As you can see, I've been busy performing. :)  I'm going to try to make it to three more classes plus next week's swing class by the end of the month!

Last night we learned more moves in swing class.  I partnered with someone completely different and two fellows I've danced with before.  For the last part of the evening, I was allowed to return to Mr. Snapper to dance the last song and learn how to incorporate the Charleston into our little combination.  It was nice returning to him after we'd both spent time learning with other people so we could demonstrate what we learned.  We also learned a move that may just make its way into our disco duet for my birthday show in February.

The ultimate test of my swing dance classes will be this Sunday night.  I'm going to the Cicada Club with friends this Sunday to put my skills to use.  I hope that the three classes I've had will translate well to real world application.  That's the ultimate test of anything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents A Night At The Strip Club (sort of)

Monday Night Tease! presents:

A Night At The Strip Club (sort of)

hosted by: Randy H. Stallion
“The Sporadically self-aware strip club DJ”

burlesque performances by:

Jeassbelle Thunder
Red Snapper
Ali Oops
Marial A La Mode
Holly Rock-It
Dizzy Von Damn! Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008
Kristina Nekyia, Miss Exotic World 2010, First Runner Up

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for November 22nd, 2010
$12

Ask about our Sino Tequila drink specials!
http://SinoTequila.com/

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Victory Variety Hour presents This is BURLESK!

From the people who brought you The WRONG Show and SuperNova A Go-Go, LA’s own “high-fallutin’ low-brow” is back.

Victory Variety Hour Presents
THIS IS BURLESK
Sexy. Funny. Perverse.

Starring the best burlesque in Los Angeles:

Making her burlesque debut TIN LIZZIE
Everyone’s favorite mistake ALI OOPS
She’s not glowing, she’s lit! BEBE FIREFLY
The lost Ziegfeld Girl IZA LA VAMP
Hotter than a Southern night PANAMA RED
The dynamic duo of RED SNAPPER and MR. SNAPPER
Burlesque’s Surrealist Swain MATT MORGAN
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure JEWEL OF DENIAL
The Polio Princess KRISTINA NEKIYA
The 4 G’s of burlesque: Ghetto, Gutter, Glitter and Glamour LUX LA CROIX

With your em cee GARY SHAPIRO

Produced by the Pe-Tite Barnum of Burlesque PENNY STARR, JR.

Saturday, Nov 20th
Two Big Shows: 9PM AND 11PM
at The Strange
4316 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA, 90029
$18 COVER at the door
$15 advanced discount tickets at itsachick.com/vvh

Friday, November 19, 2010

NOBF: Stocking Removal with Catherine d'Lish

I'm still catching up from New Orleans!  As you can tell from my blog entries, it's been a very busy month in my burlesque world.  Last night's Peepshow Menagerie reminded me that I need to blog about the stocking class I took with Catherine.

First, let me say that Catherine d'Lish is truly a class act.  Sweet, genuine, funny and caring, I love spending time with her any chance I get.  She oozes sexuality onstage.  She's one of my role models.

I've been doing stocking removals for a couple years and I've seen a lot of stocking removals -- more bad than good.  I took this class to up my game and to do something unique with my stocking removals.  What Catherine taught me paid off at Letter Follies a couple months ago and again at Peepshow Menagerie last night.  I don't like to give away an instructor's livelihood by publicly sharing the precise technique they teach.  Suffice it to say that I did up my game from taking this class and cannot recommend it enough for anyone who wants to look sexy while working with stockings.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Burlesque "Flash" Mob

This is what I did last night.  You can see bits of the choreography I teach in my beginner class through Striptease Symposium.  We were booked to perform for a sneak preview of the new burlesque film.  This was a first performance for some of these kids.  Everyone did a wonderful job!

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents OH, O!

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents "OH, O!"
"A Burlesque of Fetish...and Things Unspoken."

Join Peepshow Menagerie as they venture into a world of secrets normally kept hidden behind closed doors. A BURLESQUE trip into the world of leather, latex, vinyl, and rubber. See performances dedicated to strange fixations from wax to the whip.

...A true Burlesque Menagerie in every sense of the word! A Carnival of Burlesque Carnality featuring The Pony Girl, The Kitten with A Whip, The Necrophiliac Squirrel, and the Self Flagellating Bunny!

Featuring Burlesque from

SCARLETT LETTER
(Legends Award Winner / Best Solo Performance - Boston Burlesque Expo 2010, Most Classic - Boston Burlesque Expo 2007)

FLAME CYNDERS
MISS ANGIE CAKES
BELLE-MORTE BEAUDELAIRE
VIXEN MAGDALENE
MISS JOSIE BUNNIE
IZA LA VAMP
JESSABELLE THUNDER
NANCY SinULTRA
KATE FOX
VAMP LORRAINE (with HARRY MIRKIN)
VESTAL VIXEN
THE TASSELED SQUIRREL

RED SNAPPER

and our 28th "Peepshow Pin-Up"
ANASTASIA VON TEASERHAUSEN

Hosted by POLLY PEABOY
(back from directing her first fetish themed film in San Francisco)

Pick-Up by THE SPY KITTEN

produced by Scarlett Letter & Chris Beyond

sponsored by Bachelor Pad Magazine

Live at BORDELLO (formerly "Little Pedros")

Thursday, November 18th, 2010, Doors at 9pm
901 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Admission: $10

Full Bar / 21 & Up
Doors: 9pm / Burlesque (starts early for a big show!) 9:45pm

Our shows tend to be packed so please arrive early for best seating and viewing. For more info as it comes, go to http://peepshowmenager/... or search for "Peepshow Menagerie" on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 10 Challenge: Swing I

Class 5 of 10:  Tonight was our second night of swing dancing.  We reviewed last week's lesson and worked on turning and the "cuddle."  Class went very well.

I tried not to back lead in class today.  I have a strong personality so it can be touch for me to follow someone else.  I made an effort today to just go where my partner sent me, even if the step was out of sequence with our drills.  I also partnered with three students I didn't get to partner with last week.  It's wonderful changing partners in class because I can spot my own weaknesses better.  There really is something to be said for having a strong lead.  One of my classmates just finished Lindy hop and lead me wonderfully, keeping up intelligent conversation as we danced.  I wasn't exhausted or dizzy afterward, and I could've kept going.  Once we start hitting clubs with our new social dance skills, I'm going to have my eye out for the strong leads (because Mr. Snapper and I can dance together anytime).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents The Muppet of Burlesque Show

Monday Night Tease! is proud to present:

"The Muppet of Burlesque Show"
(an all star parody of The Muppet Show)


Hosted by:

Waldorf and Statler
(Stumpy Putz and Rex the Impossible)

Starring:

Dizzy Von Damn!  as The Great Gonzo
Kate Fox as Rowlf
Isabella Star as Miss Piggy
Anastasia Von Teaserhausen as the Swedish Chef
with additional performances by:
Jewel of Denial and Emmet Otter's Riverbottom Nightmare Band
Vixen Magdalene and the Dr Teeth Show
Red Snapper as Elton John with the Crocodile Rock Puppets
Anna Bells and her twin muppet

This event is in no way affiliated with Jim Henson, The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets or anyone connected to them. It's parody dude!


Bar Opens: 6pm 
Seating Starts: 9:30pm 
Show Starts: 10pm 

$20 Advance tickets for November 15th, 2010





$25 at door if available.

Ask about our Sino Tequila drink specials!

3 Clubs 
1123 Vine St. 
(Vine at Santa Monica) 
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 10 Challenge: Absolute Beginner Tap

Class 4 of 10:  I've been on the mailing list of Hillary Ayn Ryan since around 2006.  I wanted to take her tap session in the Valley when I worked there, but it never fit my schedule.  I had a tap sampling in college, took a few more months of tap when I lived in St. Louis, and took a semester of tap at LACC.  I had a flash mob rehearsal at Evolution at 11:30am today, so Hillary's absolute beginner class was perfect for my schedule.

This is a great beginner class, and it's great for people who haven't been in their tap shoes in a while.  I dropped in on the second class of a six-week series and was able to follow fairly well.  She offers shoe rental if you don't own your own tap shoes.  If my schedule will permit me to visit the Valley for four more Saturday mornings, I'll finish out the series to get the rest of the choreography.

Hillary teaches Broadway style tap -- very much in the style of musical theatre.  Chester and my tap teacher from LACC both teach rhythm tap -- a down, dirty, nitty-gritty style that's closer to roots of tap.  I find myself drawn more to rhythm tap, but the basic steps are the same.  I recommend you check out Hillary's class if you're interested in tap and in the Valley.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 10 Challenge: Swing I

Class 3 of 10:  I've wanted to learn how to swing dance since the "jump jive and wail" Gap khakis commercial from 1997.  Third Street Dance Studio, where I taught my last beginner session, was called the Best Ballroom Dance Studio by LA Weekly.  I discovered they had a beginning swing session on Tuesday evenings so Andrew and I signed up.

I have a few reasons for wanting to learn swing (besides that Gap commercial).  First, Andrew and I perform together and partnering skills will bring more to our performer repertoire.  Second, we hang out with people who are into the retro revival, so having the basics of this social dance under our belts will make us more fun at social gatherings.  Third, I'm trying to take ten classes this month and ten aerobic dance classes would probably kill me at my current fitness level.

I had a great time in the first class.  We learned the East Coast Swing basic step, an inside and an outside turn.  We got to change partners twice and really had a great opportunity to drill the technique we learned.  So much information was packed in the hour of class.  I was delighted that it was all about technique because that's what I really want right now.  And Andrew seemed to really enjoy himself, so that made the class even better.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 10 Challenge: Musical Theatre Jazz With Fosse

Class 2 of 10:  I'm a Fosse fan.  I read a book about his works by one of his former dancers, and I love his choreography and direction.  When I saw this class started at Studio A, I had to jump on the chance to take it.  It's listed as an advanced level class, and I am not an advanced jazz student.  I emailed instructor Chryssie Whitehead ahead of time so I wouldn't show up and mess up the flow of the class.

The warm-up was great and I did pick up some new technique, but I think this class was a bit more challenging than I need at this point.  I have some dance vocabulary from ballet, tap and belly, but I need more vocabulary and drilling of new techniques.  This class is best for students who pick up choreography very quickly.  I knew going into it that it was listed as an advanced class, and my good buddy Evie Lovelle and I worked to keep up.  Chryssie is a very cute and energetic instructor, but I need a class with more drilling of individual steps right now.

What I did learn: 1) a really great move I can use in the odd beats of an eight-count to shake things up; 2) Fosse isolations are very isolated (so nothing else moves at all); and 3) strutting with my toes turned in creates interesting movement in my hips.

November 10 Challenge: Vinyasa Flow Yoga

I decided to challenge myself this month by taking ten dance classes, and my dance history classes don't count.  I want to improve my technique and lose the pounds from my slothful September (thanks to a head cold and dental work).  It's also not a bad idea to go into the eating holidays with the discipline of getting off the couch, leaving the house and earning my desserts.  I've extended this challenge to other dancers, and I hope I hear back on the classes they take.

Class 1 of 10:  This morning I accompanied the lovely Evie Lovelle to Vinyasa Flow Yoga at Liberation Yoga.  (I'm counting yoga in my November 10 since it will help develop my stamina, flexibility and concentration.) I've only taken one yoga class before, and that totally kicked my ass.  Today's class was exhausting and refreshing at the same time.  I find that I can't think about anything else when I'm in dance class, and the same goes for yoga.  I struggled with some of the moves (balancing is difficult at times), but I stayed with it and got a great workout.  I look forward to going back.

*For those of you who want to play along but have tough schedules, use dance videos to fill in the gaps.  Just make sure you do the entire workout in the dance video so you get the full time and benefit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bevy presents The Golden Age of Burlesque

The Bevy returns with an homage to The Golden Age of Burlesque!

The Golden Age was roughly the 1930s til the 1950s and was full of raucous comedy, sultry women and sometimes strange surprises! Our redux of this classic era won't just be a modern mimicry—we will strive to inject the old with the new!

Producer extraordinaire Lili vonSchtupp has put together a fabulous slate of performers to provide an entire evening of entertainment for you. Plus after the show, mingle with like-minded adventure lovers and dance til late to the tunes of DJ Eric Adams.
Performers scheduled to appear include:
  • Venus DeMille
  • Mariel a la Mode
  • Red Snapper
  • Evie Lovelle
  • Scarlet O'Kelijus
  • Ruby Champagne (Friday Only)
  • Shyloh DeMille
  • Hosts Doc & Stumpy
  • The Chorus Line Stylings of the ATOMIC Cherry Bombs Dance Troup
The night will be hosted by Doc & Stumpy — keeping the vaudeville tradition of Baggy Pants Comedy alive!
And we'll have additional appearance by Mr. Snapper, Funny Eddie & Chris Beyond!
And this is only what's on stage! We also have live oil-painting of burlesque beauties by Richard McDowell. There will be photo opportunities to show off your finest. And The Mezz is a full bar to handle all your drinking needs! Watch for additional surprises too!
Discounted pre-sale tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com up until 6 hours before the show. Regular ticket prices are $20 for front row and table seating, $15 general admission. (There's no cover after show for the dance party!)

Info at a glance:

  • The Bevy presents "The Golden Age of Burlesque"
  • Friday & Saturday November 5 & 6, 2010
  • Doors open at 8:30, Show at 9:30 (show runs approx. 2 hours) Dancing til late!
  • 501 South Spring Street at 5th Street (map here)
  • The Mezz is on second floor of The Alexandria Hotel. Enter lobby and look for signage and marble staircase. Elevator available too.
  • Valet parking available onsite for $7. Nearby lots are usually $5 and some free street parking is available.
  • We love groups, birthday parties, etc! Call Eric at 323.382.2615 for group discounts, special arrangements, or any other questions about the show.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dance History & Appreciation: Snapper Presents

Last night I did a presentation on neo-burlesque in my class.  I was initially supposed to have 15 minutes for an entire presentation (eek), but it worked out for me to have about 45 minutes (yay!).  My classmates knew that I perform and teach burlesque professionally, but they didn't really know much about this special subculture.  I'm sharing my format with you, dear reader, in the event you find yourself trying to explain something that pervades every part of your life in a short period of time.

I started with a brief history of burlesque and neo-burlesque.  Since some of my presentation will appear on the final, I created a handout with the brief history along with my upcoming shows and contact info.  In truth, the handout was the "Little Golden Book" version of my term paper, covering the origins, culture and technique of the form in less than a page.

I then passed around some photos to give examples of neo-burlesque acts.  I also handed around some costume pieces to give hands-on examples of what we wear: boa, bra, shimmy belt, hair flowers, rhinestoned shoes, and pasties with tassels.  Since my presentation was at a community college, I couldn't do a number to show them an actual act; I didn't want to cause trouble for my instructor since there may be students under 18 and some of them might be offended by partial nudity in the classroom.

After a few questions, I got the students on their feet to learn about a minute of choreography.  I took my beginner class choreography and altered it so I could teach them glove peel technique.  Since I couldn't show video (nudity), I thought the best way for them to get the flavor of burlesque was by doing a little.  I taught them the choreography, we walked through it once, then we added music for the final "performance."  A few students stayed after class to run it once more and video it.  It was such fun that it totally counteracted my otherwise bad day.

2010 Elections

I'm running for office!

Not really.  I'm tired of politics from my theatre connections.

But I am asking you consider me when you go vote for the top 50 burlesque performers of 2010.  I made the list last year, and that was very cool.  I hope that I've entertained you in some small way this year so you drop my name in your five to ten selections for favorites.  (You can opt into their mailing list, but you don't have to sign up for emails in order to vote.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Letter Follies: November Edition

From Las Vegas: Cha Cha Velour

Local Favorites:

Jessabelle Thunder
Lucille Highball
Miss Angie Cakes
Red Snapper
and Scarlett Letter

Shows at 10 pm and 11:30 pm
Cover is $10

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents A Night At The Carnival

Monday Night Tease! is proud to present:
A Night At The Carnival

Hosted by Aye Jaye, the legendary "Carny Trash"

With Sideshow and burlesque performances by:

Red & Mr Snapper and the Singing Snapettes
Rob the Ballon Guy, Escape Artist Extraordinaire
Iona Vibrator, Death Defying Juggler
Dizzy Von Damn! the Sultry Lion Tamer
Scarlett O'Keljus and her Trained Elephant
Estella Detroit the Sexy Sword Swallower

with Chris Beyond & Funny Eddie

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for November 1st, 2010
$12

Ask about our Sino Tequila drink specials!
http://www.sinotequila.com/

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tap With Chester Whitmore

I took a tap class with Chester Whitmore last Saturday before I sped West Hollywood to teach my beginner class.  Chester is an amazing teacher.  We worked on the move called "up front," seen in This Is the Army starring Ronald Reagan.  (I couldn't easily find a YouTube clip so you'll have to check out the film.)

Chester really knows his stuff.  After two classes with him, there are two things that stand out about him as a teacher.  First, he is all about drilling the steps.  He teaches a step and has you do it over and over and over and over and over; repetition gets dance moves into your bones.  Second, he makes you sound out the rhythm with your mouth so you know how the steps should sound.  As a teacher, I've made sounds to communicate what part of the song required a certain move.  Having the students sound out the rhythm is a brilliant tool to get them to practice on their own at varied tempos so they can really get the steps down.

If you ever get the chance to study with Chester, do it.

NOBF: Standing Out at Pageants and Festivals with Jo Weldon

Let me just start by saying I absolutely love Jo Boobs and she's a huge influence on my career even though she lives on the opposite coast.  She's learned, studious and creative.  As a teacher and mentor, she's very generous with her knowledge.  Check out her blog for all kinds of burlesque information.

I don't want to give away the farm when I discuss the classes I've taken.  Careers take investment, and anyone who is serious about a career in anything will do whatever it takes to become better at that career.  Taking classes is a great start, especially at festivals where you have access to different teachers and philosophies than you do at home.

This class was a forum of current performers and aspiring performers, all wanting to move to the next level.  I walked away with an understanding of what producers really want at festivals, that being a good show.  Thinking about how much they spend to put on festivals, how many donations they solicit, how much time it takes to put a festival together, it only makes sense that they want to have a decent return on investment and demand for the festival's reprise because of the stellar programming.  With this in mind, I understand why my first festival submission video a few years ago was rejected.  The work-in-progress I showed didn't prove to the selection committee that I would help them sell tickets.  I had been performing burlesque professionally for three months when I made the video, I shot it in my living room, and the concept of the number had not fully arrived.  I finally understood why exactly I didn't get in as a direct result of this class.

I also realized that I really need to bring it.  I work hard on my numbers.  I work hard on my costumes.  I spend a lot of time thinking about burlesque and trying to figure out how to do something absolutely amazing.  I need to keep doing all of these things.  I'm in it for the long haul, and I want people to remember me as being amazing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dance History & Appreciation: History of Black Dance in America

This week we had the amazing Chester Whitmore come to class and lecture on the history of black dance in America.  Holy mackerel, this man is so full of information!  He named so many dances that I'd never heard of before, and he had video clips of the most amazing things.  We learned "balling the jack" in class, a popular dance from 1914.  I wish he taught a series of these dances named after people, places and things.  I know I want to learn the "black bottom."

Chester is an amazing teacher.  He's teaching tomorrow as part of a fundraiser.  I'm catching the 11am tap class before I go teach my beginner class.  This is a rare and wonderful opportunity, so catch one of his classes if you can.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Brolesque With Me!

I'm teaching a brolesque workshop today (burlesque for dude-bros who pound beers).  I'm very excited about it because I love working with men and I love teaching men.  Men aren't welcome in every burlesque class available out there but they still like participating in the striptease aspect of burlesque.  They deserve the same opportunity to get those skills, so I am championing their cause through Striptease Symposium.  I have a feeling this won't be the last workshop. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dance History & Appreciation: Native American Dance

I'm enrolled in a class at my local community college on dance history & appreciation. As a dance teacher, it behooves me to know as much as possible about my chosen field so I can be a wise and understanding instructor. As a professional dancer, I like to know the roots of my craft, to connect to the past and draw new sources of inspiration.

A few weeks ago, we had a group perform a ritual Native American dance for us to welcome autumn. They burned the most amazing incense (like tar and sage or something clean like that) and danced vigorously in their shells and feather headdresses to drums. The steps were simple but required endurance. We got to participate in the ritual dance at the end, generating a greater sense of community within the class. The dance was much like a game of follow the leader. It was great fun.

I realized I should employ the use of community circles more in my classes. I use them the first and last day, but I should incorporate them more as the ladies in my class are their own community of neo-burlesque enthusiasts. These girls are going to have their own craft nights, and some will work their way through the ranks together to perform professionally. I can help foster that now.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

NOBF: Developing Grace & Confidence With Dollie Rivas

I absolutely love taking classes at festivals. It's a great opportunity to be exposed to something new, and if you pick up one new trick then it's totally worth the cost of admission.

Dollie Rivas is the choreographer for Bustout Burlesque. Their numbers are so seamless that I knew I'd learn something great in her class. She taught a segment of choreography that gave me new insights into the number I performed the night before. Not only did I have a blast, but I also picked up a few tricks to improve my own showmanship. Dollie's class came along at the perfect point in my life. I highly recommend her class.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Is the Law?

I'm enrolled in a law & media class at the local community college. My husband wants me to continue feeding my voracious appetite for learning, and I want to know my rights as a stripper/burlesque performer. The class is wonderfully informative.

For those who strip, I just read about a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding nude entertainment as protected under the First Amendment. You can find the ruling of Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. in vol. 111 of Supreme Court Reporter on pages 2456 and 2460.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

NOBF: Look, Ma! No Clothes!

That's right. I got nekkid at House of Blues again. I don't know what it is about this venue that always makes me so nekkid! You can't see very well in the photo, but my 2009 autograph is still on the wall.

Maybe the nudity makes me feel even more like a rock star.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

CBF: Structured Playtime with Trixie Little & the Evil Hate Monkey

I know I'm a little late getting this posted. Whoops.

At the Colorado Burlesque Festival in July, I got to take a class with Trixie and Monkey. I'm a theatre person, so I appreciated the improv techniques covered in the class; dancers need improv skills as much as actors do. They shared great brainstorming techniques and made sure everyone in the class actively participated in the class. It was a great deal of fun and I'd recommend it to anyone trying to create a unique new act, whether as a solo performer, a duo or group.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Orleans Burlesque Festival 2: The Return of Snappy

I was invited back for the 2nd Annual Burlesque Festival to perform at House of Blues in the Risque Soiree. It was a delight to perform at HOB again. Because of the venue with the general admission crowd on the floor, able to lean against the front of the stage, performing there makes me feel like a rock star. Even though I did classic burlesque, I could look out into the sea of faces and really connect with them. I grew up going to rock concerts, so it's a very spiritual feeling for me to perform on that stage.

Now that the show has passed, I can share something deeply personal. When I got off stage, I called my husband as requested in an earlier text message. Last year he listened in on the performance via cell phone, and this year he was scheduled to perform in LA and would be unable to listen in. When I called, he checked to be sure I didnt have curtain call before breaking the news to me that our 13 year-old dalmatian died that evening. She was old, but the news still hit me pretty hard. When I spoke to friends right after I got the news, I was a bit of a weepy wreck. I stayed out of the way of the few performers who hadn't performed so they could focus and not get sucked into my drama.

I don't bring this up for pity or sympathy but as a learning experience. As difficult as it was, my husband withheld some important but upsetting information from me so I could focus on my performance. He used his judgment and was correct in his handling. This is the kind of person you need on your own team - one who knows the appropriate time to give you unfortunate news on an important occasion.

I'll share photos from my performance as they become available. Thank you, New Orleans!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Peepshow Menagerie presents BENEATH THE SURFACE

The 2nd annual burlesque tribute to the films and art of director David Lynch featuring burlesque based on all of David Lynch's films from:

SCARLETT LETTER (Legends Award / Best Solo Performance - Boston Burlesque Expo 2010, Most Classic - Boston Burlesque Expo 2007)

JONNY PORKPIE
(Boylesque/Author/Mayoral Candidate from NYC's Pinchbottom Burlesque)

CHARLOTTE LA BELLE ARAIGNE'E
ANNA BELLS
LAVENDAR LA RUE
RED SNAPPER
MISS JOSIE BUNNIE
MISS ANGIE CAKES
CAROLINA MOON
STEAK N. SHAKE
LA FILLE
EDEN DRAVEN

with live musical guest:
MATHER LOUTH AND RADIO NOIR

hosted by Chris Beyond

produced by Scarlett Letter & Chris Beyond

sponsored by Bachelor Pad Magazine

Live at Bordello (formerly "Little Pedros")
Thursday, September 16th, 2010, Doors at 9pm
901 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Admission: $12

Doors: 9pm / Music: 9:45 / Burlesque 10:15

This will be a packed show so please arrive early for best seating and viewing. For more info as it comes, go to http://peepshowmenagerie.com/ or search for "Peepshow Menagerie" on Facebook.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents Teenage Angst


Monday Night Tease! Presents:

Teenage Angst: an evening of anxiety filled schoolgirl burlesque
...
Monday Night Tease!

Hosted by:
Lili VonSchtupp (as Carrie)

Burlesque by:
Holly Rockit (is smokin’ in the boy’s room)
Olivia D’Hellion (She smells like teen spirit)
Dizzy Von Damn! (Someone’s going back to school)
Anastasia Von Teaserhausen (Poor Rizzo)
Iona Vibrator & Ophellia Wang (it’s gonna be a freaky Friday)
Ali Oops & Rick Dickulous (A prom night to remember)
Scarlett Letter (Our teenage tramp)
Red Snapper (Someone forgot Samantha’s 16th birthday)

Bar Opens: 6pm
Seating Starts: 9:30pm
Show Starts: 10pm

Cover charge for September 13th, 2010
$12

Ask about the $5 drink specials!!!

3 Clubs
1123 Vine St.
(Vine at Santa Monica)
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.
http://twitter.com/MNTease

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kind of a Big Deal

I've been a little occupied lately.  We did Inglorious Burlesque at Monday Night Tease! on August 23rd, the 3rd Annual Tarantino Burlesque Tribute.  It was sold out for the third year in a row.  You can see the LA Weekly slideshow here.

Mr. Tarantino heard about our show and wanted us to do the production for him at a private event last Sunday.  So we did, and it was an amazing experience.  I didn't get to speak with him directly since it was such a busy event, but I was told by others that he very much enjoyed our twist contest.

I still haven't come down from this high.  I hope we do the show again next year and that we see him again for it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents "The Burlesque Musical" Two Year Anniversary Show!

Celebrate our Two Year Anniversary with:


PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE: THE BURLESQUE MUSICAL!

Yes, it's our TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of bringing you the best in burlesque, comedy, and music in L.A. with a show that parodies both MUSICALS and BURLESQUE itself with a 'Cavalcade of Naughty Shenanigans, Live Singing, and Wild Retro-Strip Tease' live on stage!

Featuring Burlesque Performances by:

SCARLETT LETTER (winner of Most Classic, Best Solo Performance, and the Legends Award at the Boston Burlesque Expo)

DIZZY VON DAMN! (Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008)

ANNA BELLS (As seen on The Discovery Channel and in the film Broad Daylight)

MARIEL A LA MODE

MISS ANGIE CAKES

VIXEN MAGDALENE

DIA BLOW

RUBY MALONE

KATE FOX

LUCILLE HIGHBALL

HOLLY GO DARKLY

APRIL SHOWERS

LA FILLE

Hosted by MR. SNAPPER & RED SNAPPER

Live Music by Silverlake's one and only THE ABE LINCOLN STORY

Special Appearances by PATRICK THE BANK ROBBER

and REX THE IMPOSSIBLE

Produced by: SCARLETT LETTER & CHRIS BEYOND


Live at BORDELLO on Thursday, August 26th, 2010
901 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

$10 Cover (cheap!) - Doors at 9pm - 21 & Up - Full Bar

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Inglorious Burlesque: I Am Mr. Blonde

Last night was the 3rd Tarantino Burlesque Tribute. It was my third time in Reservoir Dogs and my second time as Mr. Blonde. I love doing this show. I used a different blood formula this year and it looked great. Can't wait until next year!
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Striptease Symposium Burlesque Fashion Show

THE BURLESQUE SILHOUETTE: 2nd ANNUAL FASHION SHOW and COSTUMED BRUNCH

SUNDAY AUGUST 22nd, 11 AM TO 12:30 PM
 

Get up close and personal with the costumes and the performers who made them. While enjoying tea sandwiches, iced tea, champagne and sweets, enjoy a fashion show featuring some of the greats of burlesque scene mod...eling their own creations dripping with fringe, feathers, beads and rhinestones. Then mingle with the models during a Q and A.
 

Our feature model for this year is New York’s sensationalist AMBER RAY
With BEBE FIREFLY

LAVENDAR LA RUE

ANASTASIA VON TEASERHAUSEN

EVIE LOVELLE

PENNY STARR JR. 

Hosted by RED SNAPPER
 

Come wearing your finery to share with your peers! Or purchase something fabulous from our vendors!

$22 at the door.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Keep-A-Breast - Donations Needed!

My donations page is up and running.  I'm about 1/4 of the way to the target and have two full days to raise the rest.  Help!

Donations can be made via this link.

And you can see my breast cast on the Huffington Post website!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bevy presents The Blockbusty Awards

The Blockbusty Awards Show
A Burlesque Revue
2 nights: Friday Aug 6th and Saturday Aug 7th!
...
An award filled evening featuring the best burlesque performers sending up the biggest films of all time.

Hosted by Patrick The Bank Robber & Lili VonSchtupp

Performances by:

Red Snapper and Mr Snapper
Anastasia Vonteaserhausen
Iona Vibrator
Red Sonja
Jersey Sure
Lulu Lunaris
Lili VonSchtupp

and

Jewel Of Denial, Miss Exotic World Best Duo winner

with Scarlett Letter as our fabulous usherette


8:30 doors
9:30 show
followed by dancing until 2am
$20 reserved table seating
$15 general seating

Discounted tix if you buy in advance at:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/121637

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Letter Follies: August Edition


A burlesque show at a topless club! $10 admission, shows at 10pm and 11:30pm. Belle-Morte Baudelaire, Panama Red, Lucille Highball, Vixen Magdalene, Red Snapper and Scarlett Letter. Amazing house dancers, inexpensive pitchers, and a show where you can shower the dancers with cold, hard cash. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CBF: VIP Night Photos

Here are a couple photos of my first performance at Colorado Burlesque Festival, shot by Angela Kane.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this costume? It's one perfect for basking in the glow of the audience.




Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weary Bodies

Dancers put a lot of stress and strain on their instruments.  I know I get aches and pains here and there, often from not properly warming up or cooling down, but sometimes just from wear and tear.  Here's what I use to get up and make it through another day.
  • Chiropractor visits.  I started going to the chiropractor when I was sixteen after a car accident.  I started going to a chiropractor again two years ago when I injured my tailbone.  I go back every two or three months to get everything adjusted, particularly when I feel I'm so out of alignment it might effect my next performance (or when I have a break and can go before it gets worse).
  • Natural muscle balms.  I used Tiger Balm all the time when I took kung fu and when I learned heavy-duty tricks in pole class.  I prefer the original formula.  I'm currently using Burt's Bees Muscle Mend when I have tightness.  With all of the remedies, I stick with the natural stuff unless the pain is so bad I have to use medicine.
  • Heat and ice.  I use heat when I want an area to relax, like when I have a tight muscle.  Warm showers are great after a tough class.  I use ice when I want to decrease the blood flow or swelling in an area, like when I stub my toe.  I've had injuries that required the use of both, alternating twenty minutes of one with a break before twenty minutes of the other.
  • Epsom salt.  Dancer feet go through hell.  Epsom salt is wonderful in a bucket of warm water as a foot soak.  It's pretty inexpensive and alleviates a lot of foot discomfort.
  • Stretching.  The more something hurts, the lighter the stretch.  I was given some stretches by my chiropractor for my neck since I tend to work office jobs during the day.  Sometimes a gentle stretch will help the area in question gain a little more mobility, and sometimes that stretch remedies the situation entirely.
  • Vitamins and minerals.  I've gotten to know my body pretty well.  When I have a headache, I first try B1, salt and potassium as a remedy; I dehydrate easy and burn a lot of B1.  When I have muscle cramps, I take calcium magnesium tablets and potassium.  When I feel generally worn down, I pop some multivitamins and eat some veggies.
  • Wraps and braces.  We always had Ace bandages lying around when I was growing up.  They're great to have on hand.  Sometimes the tendons and ligaments just need a break after putting in a lot of work.  A wrap or brace is great for limiting movement so the area can recover.
  • Massage.  I used to go to a masseuse when I had shoulder pain from pole class.  Sports massages are awesome for that.  You can save money by gently massaging the injured area yourself (like your foot) or getting a friend to help you out (like when your back hurts).  The more it hurts, the lighter the touch.
  • Rest.  A long nap or a good night's sleep can work miracles.
Sometimes the pain doesn't respond to any of these things and I have to take aspirin.  If my injuries were too much to handle, I'd go to the doctor.  All of these remedies have worked well for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CBF: Tease Technique With Michelle L'amour

I'm a huge fan of continuing education. Michelle is an award-winning performer and an impressive entrepreneur. I have her boa and fan educational DVDs at home. All of these things made me jump at the chance to take a class with her.

This class is good for all dance levels. I picked up a few tricks to improve my presentation and body lines. I enjoyed her dance warm-up implementing striptease technique. She's a delightful instructor and I recommend her class to anyone who has the opportunity to take it.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

CBF: Day Two

Colorado Burlesque Festival was a little different from some of the other Thursday thru Sunday festivals in that there were no daytime activities as part of the festival on the weekdays.  Scarlett Letter, Panama Red and I took this opportunity to be tourists.  Our major stop:  Hammond's Candies.

Hammond's Candies has a free factory tour.  The price was right and we all love candy, so we braved the heat to get some candy.  The tour was fantastic and there were so many free samples on the tour.  I do wish that I had purchased more candy after the tour.  I was on a budget at the time, so I didn't indulge as much as I would have liked.  The candy making process is fascinating.  Panama (in a Red Snapper tee) and I posed by the old candy delivery truck.

The evening held my performance at the V.I.P. Evening.  I was early in the show so I got to see most of the event when I was done dancing.  It was a joy to put Mega Costume in front of an audience that didn't follow the play-by-play of my process.  I'm in love with the venue.  It was a joy to share the stage with so many wonderful performers.

Something else very notable about this festival was how grateful the producers were.  I was thanked by each of the four producers no less than twice for participating in the festival.  They were very appreciative of each and every participant.  We all know that festivals can't happen without performers, and they made sure the performers knew how important they were.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents NAKED GIRLS READING "Fan Service"

This month... FOUR Beautiful Naked Girls reading Comic Books, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and Fan Fiction...

In celebration of Comic-Con 2010 taking place the next week, NAKED GIRLS READING (LA) brings to you a reading event specifically tailored for fans of Comic Books and Literary/Film/Television entertainment!

Yes they are naked.

Yes they will be reading.

This will be our 2nd literary event with a naughty twist. Fans of Alan Moore and Douglas Adams take note! This is an event you won't want to miss and better to see it yourself than miss out and hear about it from your friends the next day.

Tickets will be available at the door for $20.

ADVANCE DISCOUNT TICKETS are available online via PAYPAL for only $18 at http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/0710ngrshow.htm which guarantees you priority seating (as long as you show up by 7pm).

Featuring our Naked Readers:

SCARLETT LETTER
("Best Solo Performance" and "Legends Award Winner", Boston Burlesque Expo 2010)

RED SNAPPER
SPY KITTEN

and

DIA BLOW

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Making a Costume Your Own

As a disclaimer, you don't have to make every costume piece from scratch.  There's nothing wrong with buying ready made pieces for your costume, and sometimes it works to wear those ordinary pieces as part of a costume (exception, not the rule).  But if you want your costume to look like it's more special than a $40 Leg Avenue special, it's going to take a little work.

Here's what I've done with ready made costume pieces to customize them:
  1. Fasteners and closures.  Alter the piece to suit your needs so you can get out of it in an entertaining way.  I bought this dress at Nordstrom Rack.  To get into the dress, I had to open the flimsy zipper and crawl through the halter and into the dress.  Removing the dress in the dressing room presented a more awkward picture, and that's wholly inappropriate for the act I was doing.  When I got home, I split the seam at the center back of the halter and attached a large and fancy hook and eye.  If I'd had more time, I would've replaced the zipper with something sturdier.  When I took off the dress, I was able to undo the halter like a necklace. (Photo by John Nelson)
  2. Embellishments.  Add fringe, rhinestones, sequins, patches, ribbons, appliques, tinsel, tassels, flashing lights or whatever to your ready made pieces to make them your own.  The green dress in the photo had tiny beaded accents.  I needed more sparkle so I added two colors of rhinestones all over the dress.  For my school girl costume, I took a Leg Avenue skirt and added a rhinestone inside each pleat so the audience would get a nice little surprise as the skirt moved.
  3. Mixing and matching pieces.  If you buy a complete costume, change out some of the pieces.  I wore a Leg Avenue school girl costume for a pole show a few years ago, and it had to match the other dancers.  Once the show was over, I pulled the skirt for my school girl number and embellished it as above.  I ditched the white collared shirt and black cardigan that came standard with the costume and replaced them with a black hoodie that I embellished.
It doesn't take a ton of time or money to turn something from a clothing rack into a personalized costume.  Give it a try and let me know what works for you.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    CBF: Day One

    I love going to festivals, dancing in other towns and meeting new people.  I wasn't on duty (meaning dancing) the first day of the Colorado Burlesque Festival.  I was just spectating.  This meant I could drink before the show and not violate my own working ethic.  (I don't drink before I perform.  I like having my wits about me and I don't want to dehydrate.)  Panama Red, Scarlett Letter and I stopped into Roo Bar for some brew and Wisconsin cheese soup.  I took the opportunity to have a Great Divide Denver Pale Ale.

    The Thursday night event showcased local performers.  They were very delightful.  It was standing room only and we had a blast.  Panama and I topped off the evening by posing with the information art bull just outside of Lannie's Clock Tower Cabaret.  We were being ridiculous and clever, as you can see in our poses.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    The Whole Package

    When I was first brainstorming this costume with gal pal Evie Lovelle, the idea was for me to have something special. I didn't want a costume the same style and color as so many I've seen at festivals and competitions. We found colors that were perfect for me, a style that made me look taller, pieces that I could enjoy when performing. I've gotten comments from several people about the whole package of Mega Costume: my performance in conjunction with the costume on my frame with my coloring. I aspire to make all of my future event numbers a whole package with a perfect union of all the elements.
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    Dancer Busking

    This is a photo from my stripper stripper stripper performance on Tuesday. I enjoy dancing at the strip club once a month. It's busking for exotic dancers. It's nice to get tangible feedback from the audience to know what they like best. I have found that while I enjoy doing pole work, the audience response (meaning cash) for my classic burlesque numbers is better. I did Mega Costume last week. Give the people what they want, right?
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    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Colorado Burlesque Festival: Merchandise Fair

    I'm vending pasties, C-strings and It's A Chick DVDs at this event to help sponsor the cost of my trip.  Come down and say hello, and feel free to buy me a beer.  :)

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Colorado Burlesque Festival: Main Event

    Tonight I'm performing my Stepford Wife number as part of the Main Event.  It's a huge evening of amazing entertainment.  Be sure to get tickets and say hello after the show!  You'll also get to see performances from my LA chums, Scarlett Letter and Panama Red.

    The Future of Sassy Classy

    I'm performing at the Colorado Burlesque Festival this weekend, and I found what I want for Sassy Classy. Last night I performed at Lannie's Clock Tower Cabaret. The stage was a nice size and it was really lit well. The house has rows and rows of tables so patrons can eat and drink. The venue has a full bar and serves appetizers and desserts. Every patron is supplies with a noisemaker like the ones you get at New Year's parties (that sound like you're winding something up). Patrons can buy wigs, tiaras, boas & gloves to feel more like part of the show. The energy in the space is amazing.

    I tried Sassy Classy in a theater because I wanted it to feel like this show and I wanted to capture the theatre-going audience. It's a blessing in disguise that I'm losing the venue (can't get the same sweet rates now). The show will be on hiatus until I can find something closer to my heart's desire.
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