Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Disposable Glue Gun

I have a great hot glue gun at home but I'm out of glue sticks. Since I'm making tons of pasties this week for France & Arkansas, I checked my local dollar store for glue sticks. I have the kind of day job where I can work on personal projects when it's quiet, and I really need to use my time at the office for pasties this week. They didn't have big glue sticks for my good gun.

They did, however, have this crappy hot glue gun for $1.49. I remember when this size and style was a whopping $5. I have a bunch of tiny glue sticks at home perfect for this thing so I bought it. It doesn't have the two temperatures my other gun has, but it's great for the price and I can keep it at work. Not too shabby.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

GBE: Recreating a Costume with Miss Mina

Miss Mina really knows her stuff when it comes to costumes. I took her class on costume care and preservation when I came to the Expo in 2009. Since I'm trying to recreate a costume from a film, this class was perfect for me. I learned about some tools to help me color match things. I also got that I need to make a deadline for the debut of this costume so I actually get the stitching started. I can't put it off forever until I find the perfect sequin trim because it might not exist.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 19/100 - Timing in Striptease at Great Burlesque Expo

I apologize for the brevity of the posts. I took so many classes and I want to share something about each of them while the information is still fresh.

I saw burlesque legend Joan Arline perform Friday night and she was phenomenal. I was very excited to take this class. In Los Angeles, we're generally limited to four minute numbers. In this class, I learned some tips on how to make those four minutes count even more. I look forward to dancing the number I did in Saturday night's show and putting those tips to use.
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Dance Class Challenge: 18/20 - Taking Your Seat at Great Burlesque Expo

Because I love Jo Boobs Weldon and aspire to be the kind of instructor she is, I had to take her basic chair dancing class - Taking Your Seat. The choreography was good for folks of any level who want to learn how to incorporate a chair in their dancing. I learned how to use the chair (essentially a large prop) to conceal and reveal. Loved it.
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Dance Class Challenge: 17/100 - Pin-Up Poses in Motion at Great Burlesque Expo

I took this incredible class with Joe Paul Williams this afternoon. It's based on Delsarte and really helped me understand the yin and yang of movement. OMG! It blew me away.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 16/100 - Adding Hip Hop at Great Burlesque Expo

I decided to hop into Adding Hip Hop Style to Your Act with Erin Lovett, hoping I'd made improvements since my last hip hop class. Perhaps you recall, dear reader, how the lovely Evie Lovelle and I totally got served that day. I have improved but I still hip hop like a dork. I need to get over the fact that the moves don't all have names like in folk dance or Western dance.
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Dance Class Challenge: 15/100 - Limber Up! at Great Burlesque Expo

I'm taking classes all weekend as part of the Great Burledque Expo. This morning was Limber Up! Flexibility for Everyone with Evie Sphinx. I learned some new stretches for my IT band, hamstrings and back. Good way to start the day.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Plan to Take Over the World

These are my nefarious plans to take over the world.  Three moleskine notebooks, all bearing the Heartbreak Warfare logo from John Mayer's latest album.  These three notebooks help me keep my life in order and keep track of my progress with my plans.

The leather hardcover on the right holds my five year goals and a simple ledger of income from teaching, touring, merch and local performances.  I spent some time in this notebook yesterday revising my 2011 goals, expanding them where necessary.

The softcover notebook on the left is my planner.  This is where I keep track of where I'm supposed to be and when.  I also keep track of my income from teaching, merch and performances.  (This means I can just take this notebook on the road with me.)  I put major points form my goals in the to-do page each week so I know what I need to tackle to stay on target.

The little red notebook is new.  I needed a place to jot down ideas as they came to me.  I also needed a place for mundane lists to help me conquer my goal targets.  This is where I write down that I need five yards of stretch velvet for that new costume or that I need to remember to pick up makeup wipes before my trip.  It's small enough to put in my handbag or a back pocket.  I can make daily progress and appear less forgetful.

I spend so much time pondering things that I can't keep my life on track without writing things down.  If you have plans to take over the world, I hope you find a system that works as well for you as these notebooks work for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegas, Baby!

Stepford Wife shot by Flash Adams
Stepford Wife with moon shot by Flash Adams

I had a blast in Las Vegas last month!  I'm so fortunate to have the life that I do.  Here are a couple photos from "The Man Show" by Flash Adams.

Congrats to Cha Cha Velour for winning Best Solo at Texas Burlesque Festival last weekend.  I look forward to seeing her this weekend in Boston.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Next Costume

After my moaning about being lazy, I went swatching with Evie yesterday morning. We visited more stores that didn't have the perfect color stretch velvet, but I did find something I may be able to use for another part of the costume.

Ideally, I'll find a velvet the same shade as the feathers -- a toothpasty aqua. I may have to do a dye job to get the right color. The white fabric in the photo is my sample to test dye for the skirt. If it takes a dye, that's going to save me lots of hassle. The shimmery fabric may make an appearance in the costume, but I'm not sure where. The important thing is that I'm getting somewhere with it all.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Speed Bumps

 "I'm not lazy, I'm just drawn that way." - Jessica Rabbit

Wait, that's not Jessica Rabbit's line; it's mine.  I haven't been getting as much done as I anticipated.  I'm not going to use this blog to unload all of my excuses.  Instead, I'm going to be open and honest with you, dear reader, so you know that I am human.

I'm not where I need to be with my Dance Class Challenge.  With teaching, touring, and a day job to help fund my rock & roll lifestyle, I haven't had the same freedom in my schedule to drop in on dance classes here and there.  I'm going to try to catch up on my trip to Boston and my intensive training in Chicago, but I'm going to have to figure out how to squeeze more dance classes into my already packed weekly schedule here in the real world.  I haven't worked out a solution yet.  I'm sure I'll figure something out when I'm done traveling in a month.

I'm also not where I expected to be with my costume construction for new acts.  I started plans for a new costume last fall, and I haven't been able to find the color materials I need to begin construction.  (Color is very important to me, and some things just can't be substituted.)  When I did my goals in December, I expected to have my aqua costume completed in March.  I've been hunting for the appropriate fabric for months and just found what I needed on the internet last week.  That's delayed construction until late May/early June.  The next costume in my queue is very mega, and it presents challenges for rigging and travel that have to be resolved in the planning/drafting stages.  Evie and I just sat down to sketch out possibilities for this costume last week, trying to figure out how to make it look good and have workable rigging.  I'm further along than I was, but I'm not doing any actual construction yet.

I hate not meeting targets I set for myself.  I'm going to build a regular dress over the next couple weeks so I feel like less of a costume slacker, even though it won't be a dress made for stripping.  I have been getting exercise with daily walks, crunches and push-ups as I can fit them in at my day job.  They're not dance classes, but at least I'm doing something.  What's really important is that you know that you, reader, are not alone in having speed bumps to delay progress in your own life. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Great Hair for Dummies

I guess I could've also titled the post "Great for Hair Dummies."

A few years ago when I was very new to burlesque, I learned that one of my favorite performers wears a lot of falls that match her hair. My hair is a bit more multicolored by nature, so it was harder for me to find a good match. I've since found reliable sources and visit those for my faux hair.

I love fake hair for the days when I'm in a hurry to get ready for a show or I'm performing more than once. This was my look for the second Letter Follies show last night. I bought this clip-on curly ponytail when I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago for $17. It matches my hair well and totally changed my look in moments.

A decent fall is a good investment for a dancer. Make sure it feels smooth if it's not human hair. Falls look terrible when they're crunchy. Another trick is to blend it with your actual hair so no one knows it's faux.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Night Tease! presents Mister Robber's Neighborhood

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Monday Night Tease!

Mister Robber's Neighborhood

Hosted by Mister (Patrick the Bank) Robber

with burlesque by:
Miss Angie Cakes
Bevey JuJubee
Iza La Vamp
Red Snapper
Miss Josie Bunnie
Lili VonSchtupp
Marial A La Mode
Glama Sutra

and special musical guests

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

Cover charge for April 4th, 2011
$15 advance limited VIP seating through Meet up
$12 (tickets available at the door)

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

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar, no food.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions:

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or

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

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 14/100 - Pilates

I know I've mentioned on more than one occasion that I was really fit back in 2006 and 2007.  I was in pole classes several times a week, and I supplemented those with Pilates classes at Studio Soma in West Hollywood.  I was very active and could keep pace in Pilates mat classes with little effort.  Then I hurt my tailbone (maybe broke it) back in 2008 and things changed for me.  Soma also housed my pole classes and belly dance classes, and those things both moved out of the studio so I didn't find myself in the area as much.  Today I went back to Pilates class to get back into some kind of physical groove.

I don't have the core strength I had before but the gist of the movements came back like second nature.  I really felt my body working.  It's an intense 60 minutes.  I felt positively challenged and I'm glad I didn't eat more sausage before class.  This class has been very good for me in the past.  I look forward to returning for another round.

I have to give props to my workout buddy, Evie Lovelle.  It's very encouraging when you have a friend who wants to go with you to different classes and try new things.  It helps me feel less alone on this challenge.  It's also helped me get motivated enough to crawl out from under mounds of crafts on my couch to do something physical.  Let's see what I can talk her into taking with me next week!