Saturday, December 22, 2012

Broads & Panties Presents The Nearly Naked Nutcracker


This is not your family classic... It's the 2nd Annual ballet infused burlesque event, The Nearly Naked Nutcracker! Presented by Broads and Panties Burlesque, in Association with Trees Dallas, on.December 22, 2012, with doors opening at 8 pm.
 
The Broads have taken a beloved Christmas Classic and made it... Nearly naked! Join host Violet O'Hara as we explore the sensual side of the Nutcracker. Delightful burlesque, sensual ballet, dancing bonbons, frolicking mice...
We will also be presenting the amazing musical talent Ginny Mac! She is famous for her unique gifts, and we are so pleased to present her at Trees for your pre show entertainment.
 
We will also be launching a new line of retro inspired handcreated dresses and corsets from local seamstress Vanity Vamp and Azraels Accomplice! These are sure to put a spring in.any gals' step. :)
 
Tickets are on sale and already flying! Get yours at www.treesdallas.com. VIP is an exclusive section located upstairs in the lounge. Private facilities and bar await the VIP ticketholders, as well as extra mingle time with the performers of our show.
See you there!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Broads & Panties: Nearly Naked Tour

C'mon out and see us, DFW!  You can see my new number, "One Night With Snapper," Mr. Snapper's Han Solo, and our tribute to Jack Rabbit Slim's Twist Contest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nutcracker Press ... Already!

We're popping up all over because Dallas is excited!  This morning I found out we made the Dirty Dozen.  We made the Dallas Observer yesterday.  What an exciting time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Support

1. to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for.
2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
3. to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
4. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
5. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.
                                                 -- from Dictionary.com


Remember how I blathered on and on about how amazingly supportive my family was last time I went to my hometown?  Well, this last trip back was no different.  My oldest sister made it to the show. My younger brother, his fiance, her mother and aunt, all came out for the show.  My small sister came out, as per usual, along with her boyfriend and his entire family.  My oldest sister held a special pre-Thanksgiving dinner so the Naked Sheep of the family could have a family meal.  MY newly widowed mother was there, and I think it's likely she'll make it to my next hometown show.

My family's support has become a foundation for what I do.  They're encouraging and helpful, and they cheer louder than anyone in the venue when I'm doing my thing.  My younger brother said it's just like me cheering at his football games in his youth.  What a perfect analogy.  They don't just tolerate it.  They promote it and encourage it.  They don't mind having people say, "Oh, Snapper's your sister?!"

But the support I get every time I return to Hot Springs doesn't just come from my family.  I stayed with a lovely couple I met via CouchSurfing.  They not only welcomed me into their home and provided me with the space I needed to rest and prepare for my show, but they also came to the show to show their support.  Kevin, Agnes, and the entire staff of Maxine's have provided an amazing environment for burlesque in Hot Springs.  (Maxine's feels like my Hot Springs burlesque home, much like Monday Night Tease is my Los Angeles burlesque home.)  The wonderful members of Foul Play Cabaret always make me feel welcome.  I love them all.

Most importantly, I wouldn't be able to tour to Arkansas if it weren't for all the people who fulfill definition #5 above.  If it weren't for the audience and the dedicated fans, there wouldn't be a show.  Every person who buys a ticket, every person who tells a friend, every person who buys merch, every person who asks for a candid photo after the show -- I couldn't do this without your support.  I am humbled by you all.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Foul Play Cabaret With Special Guest Red Snapper

Come see my new number at Maxine's this Friday!

Doors 8pm, showtime 9pm
Limited seating, reserve your table now by calling 501-321-0909
Tickets $12 door, $10 advanced



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Topless Vlog #9



Hoping next week is a bit warmer so I don't have to wear a shrug!

LINKS:
www.ticketalternative.com (tickets for 11/16/12 Foul Play Cabaret show at Maxine's in Hot Springs, AR)
www.snapperburlesque.com/classes.cfm (sign up for Basic Burlesque and/or How to Dance For Your Lover classes in Hot Springs 11/17/12)
www.indiegogo.com/mnt (Monday Night Tease gallery project fundraiser)

Burlesque Classes in Hot Springs

Sign up by midnight on 11/15 and get both classes for $30!

Visit the website for more info.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Night Tease! Presents Erotic Titty 2

 
Monday Night Tease! presents EROTIC TITTY 2 - The Prince Show 
LA's Longest Running Weekly Burlesque Show

Back by popular demand for a second time, the all Prince inspired burlesque show

Headlining performance by Lux LaCroix, Miss Exotic World First Runner up and Most Dazzling Award Winner. She is a featured Lucha VaVoom performer and choreographer for the Grammys.


Vocal stylings of Heather Henderson

Additional burlesque performances by:
Sheila Starr
Jessabelle Thunder
CeCe Cum Laude
Caramel Knowledge
Egypt Blaque Knyle
Sioux Du Jour
Dizzy Von Damn! Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008
with
Glama Sutra, Red Snapper, Daftney Punk, and Nikita Bitch Project.

And Mad Dog Delaney and Lili VonSchupp as Morris Day and his girl this time.

$15/$20


6pm bar
9:30 seating
10pm show

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

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice. Plenty of free street parking.

21+, full bar, no food.

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

Reservations available for parties of six or more, 818-378-8866 or lili@burlesque411.com

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Final Reveal: Done (Mostly)

I've spent most of my down time since Thursday working on this costume. The biggest issue I was facing after putting the pants together was the size.  I hadn't interfaced the waistband and the black fabric has more give than the disco fabric.  I took 15 minutes Friday morning to steam some interfacing inside the waistband.

A little side note on interfacing: always test the interfacing on a scrap of the same fabric.  In my rush to get it done so I could take the pants with me to work, I didn't test.  I steamed the interfacing to bond it to the pants and reduce the stretch, threw them in my bag and split for work.  When I tried them on at work, I noticed that some of the holographic dots had melted off.  Yikes!  I'm going to have to drop some stones on the waistband to deal with the accidental blandness.

I took in the back and side seams of the pants and attached the rest of the waistband while I had a break at work.  This is a photo of my pants fitting at the ol' office.  I then spent a little time putting rhinestones on my headband.

Saturday was a busy day of finishing the waistband, adding hooks to the front of the pants, and working out the solution for my exuberant boobs.  I cut lower bra cups from some black net and attached it to the cups of the monokini.  I then stitched hooks and eyes onto the monokini and underbra so I can keep my boobs in check.

I had my first dress rehearsal of the number last night and saw how my costume pieces worked together.  (I'm lucky that I can hide knee pads inside my stripper boots.)  I had another dress rehearsal today with my coach and it worked fantastically.  A few little tweaks and it's ready for an audience.

Total spent so far: 33:00 and $243.80.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Final Reveal: Droopy

I concentrated on my crotch last night.  I used the pattern fly and underlap, but I didn't consider the fact that I was going to open up the fly completely in order to escape from the pants.  This meant I had to make a longer fly and longer underlap that went all the way to the crotch.  I put snap tape in the crotch so the front will open completely.  (I had some leftover white snap tape and took black spray paint to it.)  With picking out the seams from the tiny fly, cutting the replacement parts, and installing them, last night's fun took an hour and a half.

I spent three hours installing the inseam zippers and stitching up the side seams today.  It took a little extra care to make sure everything lined up perfectly.  I did my fitting and discovered that the pants are a bit too large.  At least the zipper and fly work as intended.  I have some alterations to make, but I think right now I just want a nap.

Total spent so far: 27:00 and $243.80.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Final Reveal: Disco Pants

I was going to go to bed after last night's post, but I spent another hour working on the gauntlets. After some trial and error, zipper installation, resizing, and rhinestoning, the gauntlets were finished this morning.  I glued the cups to the fabric in the top of the monokini and moved onto the pants.

I bought a pattern to make my pants experience easier.  (I figure I can use the same pattern to make my own walking around pants.)  I cut the pattern this morning and stitched the pockets into place this evening.  I spent part of my afternoon reading the instructions and making notes on the alterations I'll have to do to make my disco pants into stripper pants.

I ran out of waistband fabric when I was cutting the final pieces.  Fortunately I had some extra fabric I could use for the inside of the waistband so I wouldn't have to push off the completion of my pants until I could shop.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to add closures to the monokini and snaps to the bra.  I also hope to get the fly of my disco pants done.  Photos coming once I can put this garment on my body.


Total spent so far: 22:45 and $243.80.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Final Reveal: Hopeless Optimist - Population One

Yesterday I boasted that I could finish this costume in less than 25 hours.  Dumbass.  I spent six hours on it today and didn't even get started on the pants.  GROAN.

The pasties and assels are done except for dropping on the tassels.  I rhinestoned the underbra and panties.  The monokini still needs the ass pads installed to hide the assels.  It also needs a closure and some snaps to tidy up the line with the underbra.  I had hoped to cut and stitch my gauntlets and cut the pants tonight, but I ran out of time.

I reach a point with every costume where I ask, "What was I thinking?"  That happened today.  I'm working with spandex that isn't very stretchy because of the foil print.  I'm making a monokini that requires bust supports because I don't have the chest for your average monokini.  I was losing my mind less than an hour ago.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I'm cutting those pants and gauntlets before my first cup of coffee.

Total spent so far: 15:45 and $243.80.

My Final Reveal: Assels

I was naked most of the day Saturday and in classes for most of Sunday, so Mr. Snapper had to go rhinestone shopping for me.  He was surprised to spend $55 plus tax on stones, but I had him pick up ten gross of different shades.  He did a great job color matching with my swatches.

Last night I took two hours to rhinestone my assels.  My hope is to get the pasties rhinestoned and the underthings embellished during the day today so I can wrap up the monokini padding and elastic tonight.

I'm in the crunch zone.  I have to have all of the pieces done for my final studio rehearsal and hip-hop lesson this coming Sunday.  I think I can get it all done in less than 25 hours, even if I did go over my financial goal for the costume.

Total spent so far: 9:45 and $243.80.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Final Reveal: Lift

Buster thought we were doing a vlog.
I'm a bit more focused than I was yesterday. :)  I squeezed in thirty minutes of hand sewing today to finish the wire channels of my underbra.  I have a couple minutes of machine sewing for the rest of the halter strap and the bra is done!  I may add some rhinestones here and there, and I may also add snaps to the sides to help the monokini stay in place when I dance vigorously.

This is the first underbra I've constructed from scratch.  Attaching the front closure directly to the underwire channeling was a challenge (pin it, check it twice, then sew it).  Next time I make one of these bras, I'm going to attach some glue to parts of the underwire before inserting it into the channeling so the channeling is less likely to twist.

I made an underbra for this costume because my boobs need a little support.  This piece gives them some support without compromising the physics very much for tassel twirling.


Total spent so far: 7:45 and $183.99.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Final Reveal: Focus

I make a lot of lists.  I'm a bit of a scatterbrain without them.  I have so many ideas buzzing around my head that I have to write them down so I can do something with him.  I make a list of the things I plan to accomplish when I'm home, and I usually do well marking completed items off a list.

Today I went off-list.  I was very unfocused.  I intended to finish my underbra and stitch cups into my monokini.  I was all ready to wrap up the bra, but I discovered the permanent marker I used to color my bra clasp was rubbing off.  I had to remove the ink then spray paint the clasp.  While waiting for it to dry, I started working on the monokini but the cups are white and I need them to be black.  (The audience will see parts of the inside of the costume, so I don't want to jar them with stark white cups.)  I spray painted the cups, then worked out and pondered life while I worked out.

Back to the grind while catching up on episodes of "The Office."  I turned my panties into "kaboom" panties (gathered ass crack) and started putting the elastic in the monokini.  I tidied up parts of the bra then took a dance break.

In my evening of mental hash browns, I spent three hours getting plenty of random costume stuff done.  I also got some rehearsing done and found the best placement for my assels, but that was off the clock for this part of the project.  I ordered zippers for a gauntlet and my pants, and I ordered a pattern because I'm too distracted to draft a pants pattern.  I hope I can focus better tomorrow.

Total spent so far: 7:15 and $183.99.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Gift of Growing Up Poor

I come from a family of six children, spread out so that no more than four of us were of trick-or-treating age at a time.  I remember wishing for those hideous plastic masks and thin plastic coveralls from a box for my Halloween costume, and I remember being told they were too expensive.  In retrospect, they were shitty costumes and a total waste of money.  But at the time, they were all the rage.  Having one of those shitty costumes would mean I was normal, or just not poor.

I had one really great Halloween costume when I was under ten, one that was custom-made and looked fantastic.  Since I was a redhead and had Buster Brown shoes, my mother was more than happy to make me a Strawberry Shortcake costume for Halloween.  She hunted for the perfect fabrics and found reasonable substitutes when the world didn't have replica fabrics available.  She stitched the green diamond patches on the apron and made a strawberry-shaped pompom for the hat.  It was amazing.  I would've worn it every day if I could.

The rest of my childhood costumes were not as incredible, but they also weren't as well-funded.  I'd tell my mother what I wanted to be for Halloween, and we'd have to brainstorm how to make that happen.  I made scribbly sketches and went through my closet to see what I had that could be of use.  We'd have to scour the house to see what we had so we could bring it to life.  Some costumes were, well, shitty.  Others were not too shabby.  I had to learn to work with what I had, to plan wisely, and to use my imagination because there was no money hose to problem solve for me.

My childhood prepared me for burlesque.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Topless Vlog #7

Buster is dressed as a proper gentleman for Halloween and I'm making a bacon fairy costume!

LINKS!
www.alignballetmethod.com (fantastic ballet classes for the beginner adult)
www.one-eyedgypsy.com (burlesque venue formerly known as Bordello, great food & drinks)
www.facebook.com/jewelofdenial.losangeles (one of my first burlesque teachers, amazing hip-hop instructor, choreographer, burlesque & bellydance performer)
www.indiegogo.com/mnt (Monday Night Tease Gallery Fundraiser - every donation appreciated, great perks)
www.mondaynighttease.com (Monday Night Tease)
www.snapperburlesque.com/buystuff (my online store - buy something by 10/31/12 and I'll send you something from the Snapper grab bag)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tease-Or-Treat!


“Hair-raising Burlesque, Magic and Live Music to tickle your tastebuds!”

Have you been bitten by the Halloween bug yet? Aching for a Halloween party this weekend?

Are you waiting to show off that costume you just finished making, or arrived in the mail, or barely covers your butt?

Looking for somewhere to shake your heiney this weekend?

Well, you're in luck, because Prix de Beauté presents:
TEASE-OR-TREAT! Burlesque and Magic in a weekend-long Halloween party, with live music at the One-Eyed Gypsy!


~ SATURDAY ~ 10PM

*MORE Ghoulish BURLESQUE by:*

Ms. Red Snapper

Holly Go Darkly

Anastasia Von Teaserhausen

*LIVE MUSIC by:*

AK and Her Kalashnikovs

*Enjoy burlesque sets at 10PM and 11PM, before and after band sets!*

Hosted by Prix de Beauté, along with her Stage Badgering sidekick: Ms. Honey Badger!

All this for FREE??!?!?! You betcha, all down at:

The One-Eyed Gypsy
901 East 1st Street
Downtown Los Angeles, CA.
90012

Both shows start at 10:00 PM!

Full bar full of amazing drinks and bartenders, and a kitchen open til 11pm, preparing unique and delicious appetizers!

A soothsayer will be there, reading fortunes all night, and a sexy candy cigarette girl will be there with tricks and treats!

So come down in your best Halloween costume, have yourself a Bloody Mary and enjoy the show full of beautiful burlesque ladies in scary and silly costumes, haunting magic and music to monster mash to!

See you this weekend!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Final Reveal: Bands

I spent about thirty minutes working on a new headband to match my costume.  A few months ago I picked up a handful of "love" headbands (see photo) for $1 each.  I peeled the "love" fabric off one and replaced it with leftover spandex from my underthings.  You can see some bumps from the hot glue through the fabric, so I'm going to slap some rhinestones on it later.

I also received my package of lingerie supplies from Sew Sassy.  I was stocking up on supplies for some other projects, so I'm just going to count the costs of what I'm actually using for this project.  My bra wires were 55 cents for the pair.  (They come in packs of six pair, but I'm okay with that since I'm making my own underthings when I can.  I'll use all the wires.  I used some tubular channeling at $1.20 a yard, and some finishing elastic at 85 cents a yard.  I ran elastic on the lower edge of the bra band, and I attached the underwire channels to the band.  I made the band on the large side, so I'm going to have to take an inch or two out of it before I add the elastic along the top of the band.

The next problem I really have to solve is how best to construct my bootcut disco pants.  I'd prefer not to have to draft that pattern from scratch, but I'll do it if I must.

Total spent so far: 4:15 and $160.60.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Final Reveal: A New Costume in Progress!

I have three costumes in progress at the moment -- two for my December trip and one for my November trip.  All of these numbers will hit the stage many times to earn their keep.  For now I'm concentrating on "If," the number I'm debuting in Arkansas in November.  (A nice chunk of one of the December costumes is finished, the other should be fairly simple.)  I'm getting private dance lessons to prepare for this number, so I have to make sure the costume makes a statement.

As I did last time, I'll share my time spent and my receipt totals.  This project is a little different from the blue gown since it's not a glamour number.  That doesn't mean it will be without its own set of complications.

I had a dancer once tell me, "I spent $80 on my costume.  That's the most I've ever spent!"  I was already spending hundreds per costume, doing the work myself to save money, so I laughed internally.  $80 isn't much to spend on an event costume, but I've tried to get away with spending as little as possible on costumes for theme shows.  (I'd pair something I already had in my closet with something I could get at Goodwill, trying to make no more than one shopping stop.)  But this new costume I'm going to try to do for under $200 because I already spent close to $100 on boots.

Since it's going to be a dancewear-style costume, I'm making it from spandex.  I spent about $50 on spandex over the weekend.  I got shiny fabrics with a pattern since I'm probably not going to add rhinestones, beading or appliques to the fabrics.  The rhinestones will be spent on the pasties and assels.  I think I can get away with spending under $200 because I'm making it from scratch.  Not one off-the-rack piece (except the boots).

I spent an hour cutting, stitching and fitting the monokini on Sunday night.  I still have to add elastic, cup supports, cup snaps to attach to the underbra, and a closure for the halter.  On Monday I spent thirty minutes cutting the underbra band and the undies (and drafting & cutting pasties and assels),  and another 45 minutes stitching the undies and reinforcing the sides of the underbra band.  I still have to add some elastic to the crack area of the undies to make them KABOOM!  I'm waiting for my bra underwires, elastic, and channeling so I can make more progress on the underthings.

Total spent so far: 2:15 and $157.00.

How to Make Pasties - I Can Do Math

If you can solve for x, this is the pastie making video for you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Honey Boo Boo Project

Just over three weeks ago, I got an opportunity to make a Honey Boo Boo cosplay/Halloween costume for the daughter of Missy of Miss Missy's Photography.  You can see what I made.
Honey Boo Boo





 This is the main photo I referenced.  I was trying to capture the silhouette and colors, but I had to make sure the costume was cost efficient.  I had to get the silver trim, the triangle on the belly, and the lettuce edge ruffle.

To get the silhouette, I used a bustier pattern and drafted the skirt to attach to the bottom of the bustier.  I spent a lot of time working on the ruffle, but the ruffle is the key feature of the silhouette.  Without that ruffle, her costume might not be easily recognized.

HBB with Lacey in the Honey Boo Boo costume I made
Knowing this was going to be a Halloween costume and working to keep costs down, I used some very thin fabric for the ruffles and shell of the dress.  This gave me some challenges because it would shift while I was cutting and while I was sewing.  I did a lot of basting to keep things in place for machine sewing on this costume.  I also took my time because I knew from the first stitch that my fabric would challenge me.

The fabric was so thin that I had challenges installing the zipper.  I wanted the costume to be durable (even though it was made for Halloween), so I sandwiched the zipper in bias tape and attached the bias tape to the shell and lining.  The final product won't split at the zipper because of the bias tape solution.

I had some leftover appliques so I made a hair clip to match the dress.  I passed the leftover trim, appliques and rhinestones to the client to embellish a bag for Halloween, or to use on any accessories.

Even though the shell fabric was a challenge to use, I'm very pleased with the outcome.  Lacey wears the dress very well and looks pleased with the project.

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Viper Room Photos!

Photo (c) Jason Kamimura 2012

Photo (c) Jason Kamimura 2012

Photo (c) Jason Kamimura 2012
More photos of "So Wrong It's Right" from the Viper Room a couple weeks ago.  (The lighting there isn't awesome, but Jason Kamimura did a great job getting some shots of us.)

Partners

I've taken a few social dance classes and I have opinions on dance partners.  After yesterday's hustle intensive with m'love, I thought I'd share those thoughts with you.

For the men:
  • Be a strong leader.  This doesn't mean toss your dance partner around to show her who's boss.  This means decide what move you're going to do and lead her into that move.  (It doesn't matter if it's the wrong move, just be decisive about it.)
  • Don't try to pull a fast one on your dance partner.  That's just a jackass move.  When you try tricking your partner, you make your partner lose faith in your ability to lead and she'll start back leading.
  • If you have sweaty palms, wipe them off before you take your partner's hands.  (This applies for the ladies as well.)  If you're handling food or whatever before dancing, wash your hands or wipe them off before you invite the lady to dance.  I had a rash on my hands from something someone handled before they touched my hands yesterday.  Yuck.
  • When you have the moves down, try some eye contact and polite conversation.  (This may not work so well in a class situation because you are there to learn the moves so it becomes effortless.  Class is the place for effort.)
  • Compliment your partner for moves that were well executed, when appropriate.  At the very least, thank your partner for the dance.
  • Be relaxed, confident, and fun.  It should be a pleasure to dance with you.
(You might notice all of these things apply to picking up women and dating.)

For the ladies:
  • Follow his lead, no matter how logical the moves are in the sequence.  It is a social dance, not a stage performance.  If he runs you into another couple, politely mention that you can't see them through the back of your head.
  • Wipe off those sweaty hands!
  • When you know your dance partner isn't going to charge you backwards into the punch bowl, try some eye contact and polite conversation. You don't have to think of what move will come next in the sequence, so you get to ask how the weather is and how about the baseball team.
  • Compliment your partner for great leading, when appropriate.  Be sure to thank him for the dance.
  • Be relaxed, interested, and fun.  Don't try to be a difficult dance partner.
(These things can also apply to picking up men and dating.)

I don't like dancing with a partner who needs constant reassurances, who tells me I'm doing it all wrong when he's supposed to lead me into the moves, who won't look at me at all during the course of the dance, who looks miserable, who tries to get the dance done faster than everyone else and the rhythm of the music allows, who isn't having a good time.  I want it to be fun.

Of course, I'd get all starry-eyed when my perfect dance partner would rotate back to me in class.  Even if we both screw up, we can laugh about it.  The dance is full of big smiles and pleasant conversation ... and talk of incorporating the moves into future choreography.

Topless Vlog #5


Friday, October 12, 2012

"So Wrong It's Right" Photos

From Urban Fairytails last week at the Viper Room.
Photo (c) Scenesnaps.com 2012

Photo (c) Scenesnaps.com 2012

Photo (C) Scenesnaps.com 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maverick Burlesque Presents OktoberBreast

Maverick Burlesque presents burlesque and variety entertainment featuring Fresno burlesque performers and special guests from Los Angeles- Red Snapper- the Go All the Way Girl and comedy by Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy!
Show at 10p.m., doors open at 9p.m., only $10

Friday, October 5, 2012

More Fun With Lasers

I went in for my first timed laser hair removal session yesterday.  I purchased three packages of 30 minutes to finish off the areas I had treated previously.  (I have thick hair on my head, so my stray hair is a bit hearty and stubborn.  Six sessions weren't enough for me in either area.)  My first laser sessions were discount deals for specific areas of the body, and I learned how quickly they treat those areas.  Buying timed sessions made a lot of sense, especially because I hate shaving my legs.

I didn't get as much done as I had hoped in 30 minutes, but I still got quite a bit done.  I got three small areas done (one was the seventh treatment for that area), two medium areas (one was the seventh treatment for that area), and one large area (upper legs).  It helped that I knew the procedure and didn't visit with my laser technician, readily repositioning for best access as quickly as possible.  I'm hopeful that the small areas need no more attention and that I don't need an eighth treatment on a medium area, because I really want to get started on my lower legs.

My recommendation: Get a discount deal for a small area to be sure that it works on your body.  Then buy laser treatment in timed sessions.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Boas For Vegans

Cynthia Gibb in Modern Girls
Having taken a day off to prepare for tonight's show and this weekend's trip to Fresno, I needed background noise while cleaning and sewing.  I found Modern Girls on Netflix Instant, a 1980's movie with just enough plot that I won't get irritated by being in the same room as the television but not enough plot that I'm actually going to miss some life changing moment.  It's good, clean fun.  I was surprised to see Cynthia Gibb's character donning an eccentric, colorful, vegan boa.

I've been asked by students and colleagues about feather boa substitutes that are vegan.  Sioux du Jour has a lovely tulle boa that resembles a long, glorious bath scrubbie with pailettes.  April Showers has a tulle boa that has exposed tulle edges, giving it more of an ostrich boa look than Sioux's boa that resembles a turkey boa.  These are great substitutions that are stage worthy.  There are also great fuzzy yarns that can be knitted into a really long scarf as a feather boa substitute.  I made a keyhole scarf for myself in my pre-burlesque days that looks a bit like maribou.

The boa from Modern Girls is another great substitute.  It looks more like coque feathers than turkey or ostrich.  This boa is made from multi-colored silk leaves, attached to a thin shawl.  I theorize you could make a vegan boa from silk flowers, stitching the blooms close together along a cord or ribbon.  You'd have to be sure you didn't have any bare spots.

If you have any great vegan boa finds, please let me know so I can pass along the info to other showgirls in need.

Urban Fairytails Presents Haunted Hollywood

Tickets available here.  Mr. Snapper and I are debuting a new duet, lampooning two very dear children's entertainers who are no longer among the living.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bar Costumes vs. Event Costumes

I officially spent a year working on Mega Costume.  It's the experience of Mega Costume (and all that came with it) and the posts of My Final Reveal that lead me to this subject.  I would classify costumes into two categories: bar costumes and event costumes.  (Sure, there are comedy novelty costumes, glamorous costumes, edible costumes, etc.  These categories will help you determine how to invest your costume dollar based on your intentions for your acts.)

Bar costumes are built for more intimate shows and venues.  In my own experience, some of them are very well planned while others are thrown together at the last minute.  (With the abundance of performers and lack of jobs in the burlesque world, I recommend against throwing things together at the last minute.  It's better for your brand -- unless of course the theme of the show is "thrown together.")  When I was in acting class many years ago, we'd have to assemble costumes and props to prepare scenes that we presented to the class in roughly one week.  We'd cobble bits from our own wardrobe, hit thrift stores, borrow what we could from classmates.  Of course, we weren't in the business of taking off our clothes to entertain an audience; we were presenting a slice of representational, real-life drama.  Also it was acting class, not a paid gig.

Bar costumes aren't necessarily intended to be seen from the back row of a large theater.  Bar costumes are a smart investment for a newer performer, for someone with a weekly show, or for someone who wants to hit the ground running and to perform as frequently as possible.  I've put together some great bar costumes for numbers I've been performing for four years.


This is a Leg Avenue outfit straight out of the package (and onto a very skinny Snapper in 2007).  I wore it for a pole show for one performance, and decided to turn it into a burlesque costume.  By adding some rhinestones to the skirt and ditching the two tops for a hoodie, I made a bar costume.  I still perform this number today, and the costume has held up well.  It's not flashy, but it is stage worthy.





SH Photo (c) 2012


This is a stripper store skirt, polo shirt, handmade beret (because I'm allergic to wool), and my original scout sash.  I wear a beaded bra beneath.  I was in a monthly show in 2008 and this number just fell into place.  It's not flashy, and it's not nearly as expensive as other costumes I've made.  It's a fun and entertaining number, but it's not designed for a huge audience to be able to see.





Dan Hendricks (c) 2008


This is my monkey wrench costume.  I glued (yes, glued) embellishments on the bra, panties, shoes and coveralls, and I stitched fringe on the bra, panties and socks.  I knew I'd have gigs in bars when I created this costume, so I didn't worry so much about making sure that more than 150 people could see the important parts of the costume from afar.  I had no designs on putting this on a large stage.





Dan Hendricks (c) 2009


Here's my sperm costume.  I paid too much for a "vintage" dress at a shop on Hollywood Boulevard for the outer costume.  I used glue (again) and some hand sewing for the underthings.  I put the number together for one gig at a bar/restaurant, and I've been performing it in bars since.  The costume and props aren't really designed for a large stage.






Event costumes are those you intend to sparkle and shine on a big stage.  They need a bit more "wow" than a bar costume because they need to be seen from the back of the house.  Event costumes can be a bit more spendy.  If you create a costume for an event (large theater, convention, festival, film), it needs to be sturdy because it's likely you'll be asked to perform that number in other places as an out-of-town guest.  It's also likely that you'll perform in that costume for several years.

Flash Adams (c) 2010


My Stepford Wife costume was the first costume I intended for a larger audience.  I made the dress from scratch.  I combined stitching and gluing for the trim (bad girl), but this time I used beaded trim that reflected more light.  I put rhinestones on the dress, underthings and gloves.  This number has been performed in theaters, bars, and at festivals across the country since 2008.  Very sparkly, very easy to pack, and it can be seen from the back row.





SH Photo (c) 2009

I made a fan dance costume for a play I did.  To be accurate, a costume designer bought some stuff for my costume and did a little bit of placement of that stuff, then I modified and completed it so it was useful.  There were bead strands and rhinestones and appliques.  It was intended for theaters, and I performed the number at a festival.  The costume also made an appearance in the 2010 LA Burlesque calendar.  I revamped the costume and took the fan dance (same song, better costume and fans) on tour in theaters and bars.





Nicolette Work (c) 2011


Mega Costume was my first glamorous gown and corset number.  I put the number together for the second New Orleans Burlesque Festival, knowing I'd be playing a big venue.  I've taken this number across the country as well.  It plays well in bars (as a very showy costume) and plays well in theaters.  It's been to a few festivals as well.  Hand-crafted, beaded, rhinestoned, and hand-painted, it truly was a labor of love.  (For my event costumes I try to stick with uncommon colors that really flatter my skin and hair.  They stand out from the backdrop better, and they make it easier to remember me.  "Oh, you were the girl in the peach gown!")



SH Photo (c) 2011

My toothpaste costume is for a number I intended to replace the Stepford Wife number on the road, giving the audience glamour in one number and silliness in the other.  The feathers read really well in any setting.  I made the bodice from scratch and used rhinestones in settings so they're much larger than the ones I usually use.  I used floral spray paint on the bustier beneath, painting both the inside and outside so it doesn't look off-the-rack to the audience.  This has made an appearance in theaters and bars.





Leora Saul (c) 2012


My Flower Duet number was built for theaters and large venues.  Big fans, shimmery fabrics, cleverly placed rhinestones, and an adhesive panty.  (I made it for venues that require 1" of buttcrack coverage but don't require side straps on the panties.)  With modifications it's appeared in bars, but it's appeared in more theaters and large venues across the country.






SH Photo (c) 2012


And then we have the last fancy costume I completed for myself, the Butterflies costume.  With all of the rhinestones and hand-painting, I intended for theaters, larger venues and special events.  It's built for touring because people expect the touring performer to have something a little flashy and exciting.  The progress of this costume from start to finish is all over my blog.






You can also have crossover costumes that were initially intended for bars but became event costumes.  These costumes can be fancied up a bit so they read better in larger venues and settings.

Markus Alias (c) 2010
The Twist Contest was designed for one event at Monday Night Tease.  The show became an annual event, and we were privately hired by QT to perform the show.  This number has been to a large venue and was selected for a festival (but we were unable to attend).  I rebuilt parts of my costume after the first year, and Mr. Snapper made some modifications over the four years we've been performing the number.  What makes these bar costumes translate to the big stage is the appeal of the concept.  Of course people want to see what happens next in the Twist Contest that led to them winning the prize.



SH Photo (c) 2010
Crocodile Rock was also designed for one event at Monday Night Tease.  Spare feathers attached to a bustier, a store-bought shimmy belt, leftover go-go boots, and whatever sparkly undies and pasties I can find.  After the first year I rebuilt the bustier and embellished it with cheap, plastic rhinestones.  Last year I redid the sleeves, and Mr. Snapper embellished the master croc.  We performed the number at a festival earlier this year, in many bars, theaters, and at a private party.  The costume was still pretty inexpensive (even with my modifications). 



What helps this number translate to events is the audience participation.  We slap together little snappers for some of the audience to participate in the sing-along.  Every show costs us a little extra cash and time to put together unique snappers for that audience.



When you create a costume (or an act), it helps to have an intended audience in mind before you start building.  It will help you wisely invest your money and time.  If you're just performing once in a bar to say that you did, you can get away with gluing your fringe to your bra or using a Leg Avenue costume with little to no modification.  You can shop at Goodwill for your pieces and spend some time turning them into stripper wear.  If you're thinking about a career, touring, or applying for festivals, spend the extra time and money to make something unique and easy to see from anywhere in the audience.  Don't skimp on making sure everything is stitched correctly the first time, finishing the edges of your costumes, and embellishing appropriately.  (If you're cash poor, you can embellish over time.  Start with the elements the audience will notice first, like appliques and fringe.  Then add rhinestones, sequins, and beading as you can afford.  Fabric paint goes a long way as well.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Topless Vlog #3

This week's episode contains:
  • A list of the people who died from nipple radiation from last week's episode
  • Buster being a little dick
  • A teaser of the new duet I'm debuting at the Viper Room on Thursday
  • Info on Fresno's show this Saturday and classes this Sunday
  • Buster being a little jerk
  • A peek at my spread in Bachelor Pad Magazine

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dead Laura Palmer


Dead Laura rising. Photo by Markus Alias 2012.
How death feels. Photo by Markus Alias 2012.
Here are a couple photos from last night's Peepshow Menagerie.  Thanks to Markus Alias for getting the photos out so quickly.

Holy Shopping, Batman!

At last weekend's cosplay panel at Comikaze, they mentioned the wonders of Burlington Coat Factory for off-the-rack pieces that work really well for costumes.  Mr. Snapper took note of their recommendation and looked it up on Yelp, discovering we have a BCF in Burbank.  When he read one Yelper's review that BCF is what you would expect Nordstrom Rack to be (great stuff for low prices), he decided we should go there instead of Goodwill to start our shopping for Mister Rogers.

I had to find a blouse for my Shari Lewis costume, and I've become a bit of a tightwad.  I found the cream-colored blouse in the photo for a whopping $6.  (I don't anticipate doing this number hundreds of times, so I didn't want to make a huge investment in something I wouldn't wear outside of the show.)  And because I could, I spent $10 on a wonderful melon-colored sweater.

Mr. Snapper found a fantastic, non-wool cardigan for cheap.  He found khaki pants for $15 and a blue shirt for the same.  He also found a wonderful orange Tommy Hilfiger necktie with tiny fishes on it.  (I bought him a yellow Tommy Hilfiger tie with tiny turtles on it a few years ago; they look a bit like paisleys from a distance.)  He also splurged on a $7 bowtie.

I did some browsing and they do have quite a coat selection.  It's like a clean Ross or Marshalls, or like an affordable Nordstrom Rack.  We spent $80 for everything in the photo.

Friday, September 21, 2012

PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents BENEATH THE SURFACE


PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE presents BENEATH THE SURFACE

Join us for our 4th annual edition of our strange, dark, funny, beautiful, and mysterious burlesque tribute to director David Lynch featuring performances inspired by his films and TV series including ERASERHEAD, THE ELEPHANT MAN, DUNE, BLUE VELVET, TWIN PEAKS, WILD AT HEART, INLAND EMPIRE, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, LOST HIGHWAY, THE STRAIGHT STORY, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, and LADY BLUE SHANGHAI.

This will also be our first show at our NEW LOCATION and NEW NI
GHT - as of this show we will be on the Third Friday of every month! (So mark - or re-mark - your calendars)

AND for the first time ever PEEPSHOW MENAGERIE is an
18 & UP event! Must have valid picture ID.
There is alcohol for people 21 & Up.

Peepshow Menagerie has been providing theatrical burlesque shows to Los Angeles since 2008 featuring many of the best burlesque performers, comedians, magicians, and bands from around the world. This is a great show for newcomers to burlesque, casual burlesque fans, birthday parties, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Also an ideal date night!

Featuring burlesque from:

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

ANNA BELLS
STEAK N. SHAKE
MISS ANGIE CAKES
MISS JOSIE BUNNIE
DOLLY DANGER
VAMP LORRAINE
GLAMA SUTRA
HOLLY GO DARKLY

and our 54th Peepshow Pin-Up
RED SNAPPER

Guest Starring
SPY KITTEN

with live musical guests:
HARD SIX

hosted by
CHRIS BEYOND

produced by Scarlett Letter & Chris Beyond

sponsored by Bachelor Pad Magazine

Live at
FAIS DO DO
Friday, September 21st, 2012
5253 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

On the corner of West ADAMS and Cloverdale Ave.

Admission: $12
Doors at 9pm

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

Free Street Parking
or Valet parking for $5
(Get there early for best seating and parking options)

18 & Up
Only patrons 18 and Up will be admitted with a valid picture ID

For more info as it comes, go to http://peepshowmenagerie.com/
or http://www.facebook.com/burlesquepeepshow

Show Posters:
http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/0912BposterMM.jpg
http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/0912BPSpinupMM.jpg

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Importance of Sketches

In costume design class in college, I learned the importance of sketching out a costume before building/modifying it.  We always had to render our designs for production meetings in college.  It's a discipline I fall back on when I don't have the exact idea of what I'm building but I know the silhouette.

This is the rough design of the costume I'm building for November.  I knew what pieces I needed but I had to figure out how they needed to fit together.  I also needed to play with the colored pencils to determine what color would work best.  I need a rear view so I can figure out how the assels will work best while keeping the panty coverage necessary for some venues.

I did some drawing as a child, but I never managed to quickly whip out figures.  This was a handicap when I started designing because I was so worried about having correct figures what I would stall on the actual costume design.  That's when I learned about the joy of croquis.

Back in the olden days of the nineties, I had to rely on pattern books that were out of season and negotiated for at the local Wal-Mart.  When I was really desperate, I'd use the measurement sheets from the costume shop.  (They were a bit rough looking.)  Nowadays, some patterns include croquis (particularly the Simplicity Project Runway patterns).  The amazing internet has croquis galore.  I've used a few from this site.

By sitting down and sketching with croquis, I now know what exactly I have to build.  I know what color fabric to find and how the pieces need to fit together.  Stay tuned and I'll share as I build.