Thursday, June 30, 2011


ANCHORS A GO-GO! - Burlesque On The High Seas!

Admission: $10
21 & Up, Full Bar
...$5 Valet Parking / Free Street Parking
(Be sure that you are only being charged $5)

From the people who brought you "Beach Blanket Burlesque" and "Watching The Detectives"...

Follow the continuing adventures of our own Frankie & Annette as they escape from their friends and the beach to take a Big Burlesque Sea Cruise!

Featuring Burlesque from:

Boston Burlesque Expo 2010's
Best Solo Performance & Legends Award Winner


with our 36th Peepshow Pin-Ups

Starring MR. SNAPPER

Live Music by:
with special guest LA CHOLITA


3102 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Watch for more info as it comes as well as following us on facebook.

*I was originally scheduled for oral surgery today so I wasn't going to be in the show. Dia Blow was cast in the talking girl role.  Poor Dia is sick, my surgery's been postponed two weeks, so I'm stepping back into the cast of "Summer Is Fun"! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 39/100 - Private Funk Lesson

My new number is to a Stevie Wonder song.  I've been watching internet videos to try to get my funk on in a pretty and appropriate way for this song, and I just couldn't piece together the best possible presentation of the moves with this costume.  I needed some help.  I needed an outside eye who would know some moves that would look good.  I needed someone who understood funk.  I called in Jewel of Denial.

Last night's lesson was exactly what I needed to give this act a shot in the arm.  Jewel gave me some great moves that fit the number, and she understands body mechanics so she explained how to make the moves look good without pulling anything.  Her suggestions help the rest of the piece flow better.  I'm really excited to put this whole thing in front of an audience on July 11th.

Burlesque Triple Threat

In the field of acting, a triple threat is someone who can sing, dance and act.  A triple threat is so skilled that they can handle any part you throw at them; they're very good and very marketable.  This is why actors are urged into acting classes, dance classes and voice lessons.  But what would constitute a triple threat in the world of burlesque?

Looking at the strongest performers out there, I believe the burlesque triple threat has three components: choreography, costume and charisma.  Choreography would include technique, musicality, skilled use of props and/or the stage.  Costume would include the design and construction of the garments, their functionality and aesthetics, color and fabric choices.  I'd probably put hair and makeup under costume since they integrate and complement one another.  Charisma would include stage presence, confidence, characterization, personality and ability to win over an audience.  I don't know that these have to be present in equal quantities to make a strong performer, but it gives us something of an equation to work with. Triple threat = C1 + C2 + C3.

Consider the award-winning performers you've seen and this equation.  Award winners tend to have an abundance of at least two of the three components, if not all three.  Consider your favorite performer at the latest show you attended.  What was present: choreography, costume, charisma?  What made this performer more appealing to you?  I'm guessing it was some combination of the triple threat components more abundant than with the other performers in that show.  Some performers have stronger choreography, some have incredible costumes, some have charisma for days (my 67 year-old father is incredibly charismatic).  In the performances you don't like, what's missing?  (I'm not naming names for examples of any of these C's; this is a rhetorical thing and a way for performers to up their games if they want.  I'm sure you can find your own examples.)

How do you become a triple threat?  Just like actors do.  Last year I wanted to improve my costuming so I made Mega Costume and I'm consistently working to up my costume game.  This year I wanted to become a stronger dancer (choreography) so I'm working on taking 100 dance classes and trying to incorporate more of the technique I learn into my numbers.  I have some sliver of my dad's charisma, but I know I can work harder on connecting with my audience.  Maybe one day I can confidently say I'm a triple threat as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 38/100 - Jazz Dance

Saturday I hit Bill's class at Studio A.  I love Bill as a teacher.  I feel challenged in his class (especially when it comes to turns) but I don't feel stupid.  I know there are people in class who are way better at the moves than me, come to class way more frequently, and don't obsessively start the across-the-floor moves on the right foot.  I also know I'm not going to get any better if I don't keep studying.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Instant Color

My admiration for Evie Lovelle's genius grows every day. When I mentioned to her my shoe dyeing incident, she suggested I try floral spray paint to even out the tone. Brilliant. This was such a brilliant suggestion that I used floral spray paint to color the bustier for my newest costume. I didn't want to throw it in a pot of boiling dye and have another incident.

I visited Moskatel's in downtown LA to get a couple shades of floral paint for my current projects. The store is huge, and they have more shades of Design Masters floral spray paint than are available at Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics. I noticed a usage card hanging by the paint that suggested using the floral spray paint so your shoes can match your wedding flowers. Brilliant!

It's going to take a few rounds of paint both inside and out to get it just right, but I have a great feeling about this bustier.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stripper's Holiday Photos

I have to tell you, Stripper's Holiday (the intensive week-ish) was one of the best educational experiences I've had as a dancer; Stripper's Holiday (the show) was tons of fun.  Here are some awesome photos from Jeffrey Millies of Pez Photography.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 37/100 - Crunch: Candlelight Yoga

When I first started this challenge, I was working half days in an office and spending my afternoons working on costumes, choreography, and playing video games.  I've been working 40-hour weeks for almost two months.  While I do have the freedom to work on things during quiet times at the office, I don't have the same availability to trot to evening dance classes.  This means I have to stock up on the classes at festivals and conventions, take classes on weekends between other activities, and work my way through the Netflix instant fitness offerings.

After a full workday, making dinner and sewing like a crazy person last night, I needed to do a class (video) and unwind.  I did "Candlelight Yoga" in the Crunch series, led by Sara Ivanhoe.  I got a nice, peaceful stretch and learned some techniques for post-performance cool-down (which I always fail to do).  Maybe if I stick with this yoga thing I'll have better balance, flexibility, and Buster will get used to my yoga mat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Auditioning as a Burlesque Performer

I've been on hundreds of auditions for commercials, television, film and theatre.  I auditioned for the role of "burlesque performer" back in January 2008 two days after my professional debut.  I didn't get that role; I wasn't what they had in mind for "burlesque performer" even though I was the only professional burlesque performer at the audition (and I was barely a professional at that point).  But I've been on so many auditions as an actor that I know the drill.  I've also been on the producing and casting end of the process, and that isn't the most desirable task.  It's tough waiting for someone to show up to solve your casting problems and that person never walks through the door to audition.

I do have to audition for festivals, but I get to send them links to performance videos.  If I have what they want, I get into the festival.  All of my bookings come from networking, referrals, and people coming to see me dance in person.  I got a casting notice from three different sources over the weekend for a new burlesque show being cast by one of my acquaintances.  I figured it would be good for me to go audition.  I haven't been on an acting audition since 2009, and I thought it would be good discipline to go through the process.

I should've gotten the hint that I probably didn't have the edgy kind of acts that were wanted for this new show when one of the regular cast members was surprised to see me at the audition.  I've been spending a lot of time in the world of glamour, and my comedic acts don't push the envelope very far.  But I auditioned, had some time to catch up with a fellow performer, and walked away with some good lessons for situations like these.
  1. While the audition notice may say to bring music on CD, the person who wrote the notice might not be the person running the auditions.  As a dancer, I should've had my song on my iPod (which was on there but went missing before the audition - I should've double checked).  Fortunately, someone scared up a laptop that played my CD.
  2. Showing up early doesn't necessarily mean you'll get in early to change.  Let's face it, I'm not riding in a car in heavily beaded panties.  I carried my costume with me and arrived 45 minutes before the listed start time for the auditions.  We were let into the venue to change 15 minutes after the listed start time and I had to throw my stuff on so I could queue up for my audition.
  3. Try to have a backup song in mind, even if the act is narrative with specially mixed music.  I didn't know what I was going to do if they couldn't find a way to play the requested CD.  I need to spend time outside of a situation like this figuring out what to do if I'm ever in a similar situation again.  What song that I have on my iPod might work?  What song is as familiar?
  4. Get a headshot and resume as a burlesque dancer.  They didn't ask for one, but I should have one in the event I audition for film, television or commercials as Red Snapper.
  5. Always, always, always be gracious and generous with your fellow performers.  It's important to help one another out, let the person after you know that the stage is carpeted or an iPod is preferred.  Share your eyelash glue if you have enough, lend a costume piece if your friend is in need and you are able.  It creates a better community, and you may find yourself in need of a little something someday.  There's no reason to be snarky or try to sabotage the people around you.
  6. Don't let any negative energy attached to your audition haunt the rest of your day.  I noticed as I was getting dressed before my number that one of my teeth was somehow chipped between my Saturday night show and this audition.  (It's not chipped bad, but I noticed it and was truly disheartened.)  This plus the "I didn't expect to see you here" plus the music stress made me feel a little blah for the rest of the day.  I didn't need to feel yucky about it.  In fact, I should've taken my ass directly to the movies to see Ryan Reynolds without a shirt, showing me that everything is still okay with the world.
Will I audition for work again?  Probably.  I just won't be as caught off guard as I was at this particular audition.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Naked Girls Reading GOES GREEN

Naked Girls Reading is back with FOUR Beautiful Naked Women reading stories and articles that will save the world...

Doors: 9pm
Saturday, 6/18
$18 door/ $15 advance
...(advance discount tickets available via paypal from

Featuring our readers:


An intimate wine reception will follow the reading.

Naked Girls Reading is a group of beautiful ladies who love to read…naked. That’s really it. There’s not a whole lot more to it. Should there be?

There’s something beautiful, something altogether more intimate, about a woman reading pretty much anything in her, well, altogether. It’s just that simple. So why are we still talking about it? Because people can’t seem to accept its simplicity.

Naked Girls. Reading.

or Girls Reading. Naked.

However you need to explain it to yourself is fine. And while you do, we’ll be over here…reading.


18 & Up - Adults Only
No Cameras Allowed

704 Heliotrope Drive (Just off Melrose)
Los Angeles, CA, 90029

Dance Class Challenge: 36/100 - Healing Yoga

Last weekend's class gave me pains in my neck that still aren't gone. I decided to do some yoga via Netflix instant this morning to treat my neck gently and not pull something that might prevent me from being naked for tonight's NGR. I put on "Healing Yoga: For Aches and Pains" starring Lisa & Charles Matkin.

This video is very gentle but powerful. I got some much needed stretching done so my neck and hip flexors feel a bit better. Perfect for someone working through or healing from an injury, I may just pop this video on again when I get my wisdom teeth removed. (I may still want to workout.) The stretches for neck, arms and shoulders are great for costumers and fan dancers. :)

In the photo, you can see the pains who love helping me with floor workouts. Doodlebug has perky ears and freckles; Buster is close to the camera. Doodle slept on the couch for this session. Buster helped test my yoga mat when I first rolled it out. He helped me again during the deep relaxation part at the end of the video; he thinks I'll relax more if he steps directly on my diaphragm while I'm breathing deeply.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ultra Skirt

Remember Mega Costume? I'd like to introduce you to Ultra Skirt. Ultra Skirt has three kinds of ruffle and two kinds of fringe. I just got the custom dyed ostrich fringe from Fabulous Feathers today. This skirt is coming together nicely. I'm glad I'm being green and using less feathers on the costume than I originally envisioned; it has better texture with the varied layers. I still have four to six more layers to sew, but it looks great so far. When you see Ultra Skirt in person, you'll want to touch Ultra Skirt.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Woes With Shoes

Remember how I bought the perfect shoes but I just needed to dye them? I embarked on my dyeing project shortly after I got the shoes. I heated up the water in my stock pot in the stove, added my dye and my wet shoes and waited. They shoes weren't dyeing very quickly so I left them on the stove and would check on them every few minutes. The last time I checked my shoes they were the perfect color but there was a major problem: the hot water caused some of the glue to dissolve, separating the sole from one shoe. I also managed to boil out the insoles as well. Best laid plans, right? Shit. I put the shoes aside until I bought something to fix them. I didn't want to mess them up by working on them while frustrated.

Thanks to social media, I was directed to a shoe repair glue to reattach the sole. I bought some Shoe Goo and some padded insoles to replace what I boiled out. Trying to be smart with my shoes (for a change), I read all the directions on the Shoe Goo package before using it. I noticed a line about discoloration from extended exposure of the glue to hot water. Crap. I pulled out my shoes and noticed discoloration on the toes and heels, adjacent to areas that were glued before my incident. Now I had to glue the Humpty Dumpty mess back together and address the stains. I have no desire to hunt for replacement shoes when these are so perfect.

I chatted with Evie about my problem and she suggested I try floral spray on them. (Because she's the perfect friend for me, she just happened to have the exact shade I needed on hand.) I glued the shoes together yesterday and painted them today. They're looking much better. Learn from my example and don't dye your shoes in a stock pot! Go straight for the spray paint.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dance Class Challenge: 35/100 - Rhythm Lounge


Craving a day of activity and adventure, Evie and I planned to spend our day in three dance classes while our husbands worked.  We had our dance shoes and bottles of water, and we headed to a favorite studio to take a class we'd never taken before, a class we both enjoy, and a class I've taken once before.  We were going to pace ourselves so we wouldn't be exhausted until the end of the day.  That plan fell apart within the first quarter of the first class.

This is a class best suited to old hippies who want to spend an hour going one speed: fast.  The title suggests there will be some slow parts ("lounge").  Neither Evie nor I expected to have stiff necks as a result of the high impact warm up.  We also didn't expect to have sore hip flexors from kicking our way across the floor.  We didn't anticipate the group hug after the warm up or the non-stop jumping.  We didn't expect the teacher to grab the backs of our heads to help us "feel" the light headbanging move.  We didn't expect the "corrective" scratchy tickle fingers to help us improve our moves, and I totally didn't expect them two inches below my navel while I was crossing the floor.  In our minds, the yoga influence listed on the website was more present, and maybe even parts of class would be reflective or meditative.  We didn't expect the voluntary teaching assistant/fellow student to shove us to start moving across the floor or to bark corrections at us under the loud music.  And we didn't expect to have to pay at the end of class since the website said it was a free trial class.

There were positives.  I spent the morning with Evie, heading to brunch when we were both winded and sore from this class.  We both jumped into the class with both feet, willing to try it (even if we didn't expect to spend the entire fucking class jumping).  We determined this class wasn't the class for either of us.  Most importantly, my social filter -- that ever thinning membrane that keeps me from saying everything I'm thinking -- is still there.  When the teacher asked after class what would've made it a better experience for me, I didn't say what I was thinking: going to a different class instead.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Costume Progress

I got my bodice fabric on May 19th and my skirt fabric on May 21st.  I just got my closures in the mail on Saturday.  Where am I with this new costume after a few weeks?

I made two mock-ups for the bodice before making the bodice out of the actual fabric.  I had to remake the lining, and I have to take in the back when I have the bustier that goes beneath the bodice.  The panty didn't work with the mock-up so I have to make a new one.  I made the skirt, stitched on two thirds of the ruffle, ordered the feather trim for the rest of it.  I bought rhinestones, dyed my fancy shoes and dissolved the glue on one of the soles.

This number debuts on July 11th.  I have less than a month.  I made a list of the remaining tasks to complete the costume (besides ordering supplies on the internet).  There are 23 things on that list and almost a month to get them all done.  If each task takes an hour, that's 23 more hours of work to go.  I have a pretty strong feeling that most of the tasks will take more than an hour; making pasties won't be a fast cycle and neither will creating and fitting a new panty.  I'm probably looking at 40 more hours to completion.

That seems a little daunting.  Looks like I'm packing my costume tomorrow so I can get some work done.  Can I get it all done in time?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Letter Follies: June Edition

Cover - $5
Shows at 9:30 and 10:30

This month we feature the lovely performance arts of...

Miss Angie Cakes
Red Snapper
Miss Josie Bunnie
Vixen Magdalene
Scarlett Letter

accompanied by the lovely dancers of Star Garden.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Night Tease!

Monday Night Tease!

Cover charge for June 6th, 2011
$15 advance limited VIP seating through Meet up
$12 (tickets available at the door)

Hosted by:
Phil Van Tee

with burlesque by:
Bella Luna
Flame Cynders
Patty Cupcake
Iona Vibrator
Red Snapper
Vixen Magdalene
Veronika La Tour
and from Australia:
Christopher Hogsworth

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

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.

Dance Class Challenge: 34/100 - Yoga for Health: Basics

Sometimes you really get what you pay for on Netflix instant.  After some major walking on an injured arch, dance class didn't seem like the wisest plan for the weekend.  I decided to do some yoga at home, using "Yoga for Health: Basics" led by Jenny Cornero as my guide.

Three things were working against me while I did this video.  First, I had a tough time understanding the instructor.  The video started abruptly, seeming like something was cut off the introduction.  It wasn't the easiest video to watch either.  Of course, your eyes are supposed to be closed for parts of the yoga routine so I was cheating.

Second, I've only taken a few yoga classes.  I took a class with Lux LaCroix when she was getting her certification, a class with Evie last year, one class at the Great Burlesque Expo, and two Kundalini classes before they were 86ed from that studio.  I've taken far more Pilates classes so it's no problem for me to do unsupervised home study with Pilates.  I recognized while doing the video that I still need supervision to get the positions correct without hurting myself.

Lastly, Buster hates yoga.  My dogs have always wanted to be participants in my workouts, but they usually get bored and leave the room or take a nap.  Buster would drag his nastiest toy onto my belly when I was trying to do bridges.  He'd take up residence on my legs when I was trying to do leg stretches, and he'd curl up behind my back when I was trying to do inversions.  He didn't pester me during the relaxation bit at the end.  Of course, he was pissed when I was rolling up my yoga mat afterwards.

While I did get a stretch without hurting my arch further, I don't think I'm going to do the other videos in this series.  Too much working against me.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red Snapper: Now More Eco-Friendly Packaging!

I'm the first to admit that my rhinestone encrusted shoes killed some brain cells.  I worked exclusively with E-6000 for all of the rhinestoning on the shoes and the rest of that costume.  It's been a year and the costume still has that gluey smell.  I want to have my wits about me for as long as possible, so I'm making some changes.

I'm still using E-6000 where absolutely necessary (like on props). For my other rhinestone needs, I'm using the less toxic Gem-Tac and Jewel It.  My current project will have sew-on rhinestones.  I'm getting a hot-fix tool in the near future so I can try that option.  I can't deal with the E-6000 fumes, and I worry about what kind of long term damage is happening to my body by having that dried yet toxic glue rubbing up against it.  This means I can rhinestone at my day job when I'm alone and no one can smell the evidence later in the day.

I'm also allergy prone.  I can't touch wool.  It seems I'm developing a feather allergy, which means I have to keep the feathery stuff away from my face and use caution when fan dancing.  Add to that my hippy philosophy of not wasting resources.  (The Indians would use the entire buffalo.  If I'm willing to wear the byproduct, I should be willing to eat the meat of the animal that provided it.  I've eaten ostrich before, but I don't eat it any more.  I'm cutting back on my ostrich feather consumption.)  What was going to be an ostrich feather skirt for this new costume evolved.  My second concept was an ostrich fringe skirt.  When I noticed my sinuses going off from extended feather exposure, I decided to use natural and synthetic fabrics to beef up the skirt and use a very small amount of ostrich fringe.  Fortunately, I'm able to alter that concept without sacrificing the silhouette of the costume.

I'm trying to be smarter, greener and more careful about the things I use on and near my body.  I'm not ready to stop wearing leather shoes, but I'm also not ready to give up beef.  Fellow performers, what can you do to modify your consumption of resources and use of toxic materials without sacrificing your artistic visions?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Naturally Naughty Pics

Here are some wonderful photos from Amber Darrow of my Little Rock "Naturally Naughty Burlesque" adventure with Diamond Dames.

The Considerate Man's Guide to Naked Girls

I recognize that in my line of work, people want to interact with me.  I strip, I do Naked Girls Reading, I try to be pleasant and friendly.  I'll cruise the room post-show in my pasties and pose for photos in my skivvies.  I know this is part of my job, and my audiences are usually happy and respectful.  Of course, there are a few Creeping Peters here and there to ruin the comfort that we ladies feel in our drawers or bare skin at these events.  If you want to interact with any of the fleshy babes you see at shows, heed my advice.  (I use the term 'naked' below to cover full nudity and major nudity.)
  1. Naked ladies are much like birds.  You can feed them but they're vulnerable and scare easy. If you want to enjoy the view and/or conversation, don't startle them or they will fly away and return with a bodyguard or security.  Most likely they'll rush off to get dressed as well.
  2. If a naked lady is willing to pose for a photo with you, follow her lead.  Don't get all grabby with her.  If she cozies up next to you for the photo, there are places you may be permitted to touch her for the photo.  Specifically, she may invite you to put a hand at her waist.  Keep your touch light and between her lowest rib and the top of her hip bone.  Don't worry -- it'll make a great photo.
  3. If a naked lady hugs you as a greeting after a show, don't put your hands anywhere inappropriate.  If you get all gropey, word will get around that you're a Creeping Peter and the girls won't come by to say hello.
  4. DON'T REACH OUT AND TOUCH THE NAKED LADIES!! Sure, you've seen them naked but you haven't been invited to touch them.  Remember what I said in 1 above?
Look, if we ladies are doing public events partially or fully nude, we expect you to see our birthday suits.  However, the parade of flesh is not an invitation for you to try to cop a feel.  Don't be a Creeping Peter about it and we won't be forced to enlist the brut squad -- or worse, smash your testes satchels with our pretty shoes.