Saturday, March 31, 2012

Petting Pantry Pretty

Photo by Leora Saul
Here's a cute shot of my Flower Duet fan dance from Petting Pantry a few weeks ago.

My Final Reveal: Spending, Supplies & Solutions

I grew up in a family of eight.  I really hate spending money.  I used to love spending money because I grew up with very little of it.  I've become a tightwad in my old age.  I've spent $112.72 in less than 24 hours for supplies for this costume.  I know; it'll all pay off.  But I'm still a little bitchy about spending money.

Yesterday Andrew picked up some gold fabric paint for the designs on the panels.  He picked up what appeared to be two different kinds of paint (one said metallic & came in a six-pack with other paints, the other said glitter).  He discovered they were the same paint upon getting them home.  (Unfortunately, not all stores permit returns and exchanges, so this will just fall into the overbuying category, like all the glitter and paintbrushes I bought but didn't use for my shoes.)  He also got brushes with good tips to make the painting easier.  That was a $24.95 trip.

Today I picked up some rhinestones so I could power through the yoke embellishments this weekend.  Last night I worked out how I can vary the stones when I was hanging out with costume buddy Evie Lovelle.  My first stop at Bohemian Crystal was a challenge because they didn't have the AB stones in the small size I really needed.  I still spent $28.75 on Preciosa stones (my weapon of choice because they look nice and cost less than Swarovskis).  I popped next door to Beads & More to try to get my 3 mm (ss10) AB stones.  They had them in 10 gross packs ... for $46 a pack.  The lady behind the counter tried to justify the ridiculous price (3mm stones -- seriously?) by saying they were Swarovski.  I turned her down on those and bought some other stones for $26.06.  (Yes, they were Swarovski but they were the big ones they didn't have next door.)  I still didn't have my 20 gross of 3mm stones.  I crossed the street and checked the shelves of Nova.  They had a sign that advertised Korean rhinestones.  They had my stones (not AB though) for $2.33 a gross, same price for hotfix (glue baked on the back) as for plain stones.  I grabbed 20 packets and headed for the counter.  The clerk offered me two 10 gross packs of the same stones for $29.80.  Hell yes!  Sure, they're Clarus stones.  They're also 3mm so they don't have to be incredibly brilliant.  I blew $88.62 on stones today.

I didn't include the cost of my hotfix tool ($24.95) in my spending for this costume.  I bought it so I have more tools at home, but I needed it immediately for this project.  It works pretty well, but I'm still getting used to it.

Last night I had my Evie time, drinking wine and solving costume problems.  She had some wonderful tracing paper that helped me transfer the design to the yoke.  I also got the crazy-making design put on a sheet the length of each panel to make painting easier.  I managed to work out my rhinestone shopping list as well.  I spent an hour working on the costume (and plenty more shooting the shit).

Today's shopping took 40 minutes.  I'm okay with the flat stones mixed with the AB, and the varying quality of stones I purchased.  When I got home, I spent an hour with the hotfix tool and put rhinestones on the yoke.

I got the snappers transferred and have a solution for the crazy design on the panels.  I'm ready for a nap after the problem solving, but I don't have time to sleep yet.  "No rest for the wicked, Red," my dad always said.

Total spent so far: $331.22 and 30:35.

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Final Reveal: I Need a Drink

I had a quiet hour at the ol' day job, and I have tons to do in the next two weeks.  I brought in some costume stuff to work on, getting my wish of some quiet time to work on things.  I was going to trace the screwy design onto a panel (drape) for my dress, then transfer the snapper to the skirt yoke.  Seemed simple enough.

I traced a nice chunk of the screwy design onto the drape, then realized how long it would take to finish tracing the design onto the skirt panels.  Then I'd have to take the sequins to it.  The design was so small it would be horribly tedious.  I saw a future where I was angry, yelling at the sequins and cursing the designs.  To avoid that future, I enlarged the design.  I'm going to trace it onto one sample panel, then enlist m'love to make it happen with gold paint.  He has better dexterity than I do, even though his handwriting is generally terrible.  He also doesn't get the pesky carpal tunnel crap that I do.

After that madness, I thought I could easily trace the snapper design he created last night onto the yoke.  Wrong again!  I used a tracing wheel to put holes in the design, then took a water soluble marker to the holes it made.  That didn't work very well.  I used light and shadow to find the edges of the design from the tracing wheel on the yoke, enabling me to scrawl out the rough silhouette with the marker.  I still need help.  I didn't get the other side done, and I saw a horrible future with me yelling at the skirt yoke.  It will be much easier to enlist his help again, even if it costs me another steak dinner.  (I'd make him the steak dinner anyway.)

I'm not counting any of the time that other people are putting in on my project, and I'm not counting any time I "trade" services for help.  I'd wind up helping those folks anyway.

Somebody get me some rum.

Total spent so far: $218.50 and 27:55

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Final Reveal: Sewing the Baby to Sleep

Buster is one fabulous dog.  When we got him last year, I was afraid he wouldn't adjust to being a showgirl's dog. He didn't react well to the stripping, the feather fans, the gowns, the fabulousness.  Now he's all too comfortable with all of it.  He loves gowns, and he's been fascinated with the panels for my skirt since I brought the fabric home.  Tonight he fell asleep in the panels while I gathered them.

I spent over an hour gathering the back section of the skirt by hand.  I wanted to be sure it was the right length and that the gathers were even, particularly since I had a lot of fabric to gather.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  The rear panel is full and will allow me to use the skirt as I've been instructed by legends.

In other news, I got my bracelet today and it's perfect.  Since it takes a team to make a showgirl, I enlisted the help of Mr. Snapper to sketch out a design for my yoke and for my bra back.  I'm looking forward to tracing this onto the yoke and starting the rhinestone process.  I'm glad he's on my team.

Total spent so far: $218.50 and 26:55

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Red Snapper's Wild Ride

Here's something ridiculously fun for your viewing pleasure.  Shot by my friend Jason at Burlesqueland IV.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Snapper on the Half Shell

This was shot yesterday by the amazing Amanda Brooks.  Hair & makeup by the wonderful Vivienne Vermuth.  Pasties by my dearest Evie Lovelle.  Body by Snapper.

Amanda Brooks is a resident of Los Angeles.  Please contact her via her website for rates and information on shooting with her.

Vivienne is a resident of Dallas.  (She always makes me so pretty!)  Please contact her via her website for rates and information for makeup and hair.

Evie is wonderful, as I'm sure you know from all of my posts about her.  I should probably give her a tag.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


(I also posted this on our online theatre journal.)

From the New Oxford American Dictionary:
the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way: his genius for tact and diplomacy
Creative types are sensitive.  It takes guts to put yourself out there, to present your interpretation of something for the world to see, hoping that they understand your creation and make a connection with your product. The job of being an artist is full of vulnerability and subjectivity. And you don’t always get the necessary feedback until the job is done, long after you could have really used it. 

I work in the lively arts.  I know that I have to constantly improve my product so my audiences are entertained.  They pay me to entertain them; the least I can do is strive to provide them with the best entertainment I can create.  That way I can have longevity in this field.

As a dancer, I have a few trusted collaborators whose honest feedback and suggestions helps me improve my work.  I’ve paid experts in my field for performance reviews, getting their valuable feedback on how to make stronger choices, replace weak choreography, and add flourishes--like sprinkles on a sundae. 

It’s scary to ask for someone’s honest opinion, and I don’t ask for it from everyone.  Remember that old saying that “opinions are like assholes?” Mix that with the saying about too many cooks in the kitchen.  That’s why I don’t solicit opinions from everyone on my creative works.  That, and I don’t want to come off as desperate and in need of validation.  But it is important to get honest feedback in order to improve what I’m doing.

I understand the validity of criticism via word-of-mouth and media.  How else are people going to know what to expect from a show?  This isn’t the feedback I seek to improve my works, but rather how Joe Public and Joe Critic receive my works.  I’ve gotten some great verbal and written critiques.  (“We decided to come to the show because you were on the lineup.”  “I just had to meet you because you were my favorite.”  “…these costumes were engineering marvels.”)  I’d also include the stuff said to the producers after the show, the coffee shop chatter where people are still talking about the show a few days later, and fellow entertainers wanting to book me for shows based on a performance.

I’ve also gotten some negative critiques.  Those aren’t awesome to experience when I’m putting myself out there, when some performances are way more personal than others:  Out of place, low self-esteem, fat, unsexy (which really sucks because my lively art is in the field of sexuality).  I’ve been turned down for shows and festivals with no specific feedback about my submission given.  (I can’t blame the producers on the last one because they do get a lot of applications and they’re trying to make a cohesive and entertaining show.  It would be like giving feedback to every actor who auditions for your play or short film.  I’m looking at this from the receiving end right now.)  The negative critiques sting.  Sometimes I want to get into online fights (or physical fights because I’m aggressive-aggressive) over some of the criticisms that seem unfounded or unrelated to my work.  Sometimes the person giving the criticism appears to be the modern-day definition of a bully, saying something that hurts my feelings.  Usually I’ll rant to my most trusted friends about my feelings, about the misperception and the bullying of my work.  Then I’ll grab a beer, grumble, and go to bed.

I get up the next day and get back to creating.  Why?  Because I am an artist.  This is what I do. 

I’ve spotted three kinds of negative reviews:

1.     What I did was not their cup of tea.  My music choice, my costume, my body, my dance style, whatever.  I don’t eat fish.  No matter how brilliantly you prepare a fish dish, I’m not going to eat it.  I can’t really change anything about what I did to become their cup of tea.
2.     They had a bad day and that affected their viewing of the work.  Try as I might to lighten someone’s mood with entertainment, sometimes the outside world has set the viewer against enjoying anything.  Maybe they didn’t want to be there in the first place, so we get to be the butts of their frustration.  I can try to make them forget about their troubles, but it’s not my fault if they come in so stuck in their problems they aren’t really watching the show.
3.     There’s room for improvement.  It’s not always easy to have someone broadcast your apparent weaknesses, especially when they’re weaknesses you didn’t catch in your rehearsal process.  As an independent artist, I can make changes immediately, not having to ask someone for permission.  If the criticism will help me create a better piece of entertainment, I try to implement it.  As an actor, I would have to yield to the director/producer/playwright.  There are more people involved in the creative side of the work than just me.

As a dance teacher and director, I understand the investment and vulnerability of artists.  I keep that in mind when I work.  I push for the best technique that person can achieve, the greatest investment they can give, and the strongest representation of the vision for the piece (whether their vision for a dance or my vision for a play).  I validate what they get right, and I encourage them to improve the entertainment value of the weaker parts.  (I blogged about how I teach here.)

I’m also a play critic.  My husband does way more reviews than I do, but we discuss every show we see together and sometimes I do reviews.  We look for what was done well, what was especially noteworthy that audiences will not want to miss.  We also look for what might turn audiences off, what elements stood out as falling short of the mark, what people might want to know before dropping $15 to $35 a ticket on the show.  I have absolutely hated some shows we’ve seen.  (I know that isn’t very nice to say.  I’m not naming names, but these shows are the reason I want snacks in the theater so I can keep my mouth occupied and not spend the entire play grunting and sighing about something that I think sucks.)  Of course, it’s not polite to say something sucks, especially when you don’t give a logical reason for it.

The true test of being a critic (or coach or collaborator) is being diplomatic.  If you’re good at your job, you can successfully tell an audience what they need to know while giving useful criticism and encouragement to the artists who are most intimately invested in the piece.

My Final Reveal: A Little Stoned

I had a lovely morning downtown with my sweet Texas pal, Vivienne Vermouth. I picked up fabric for the corset and bustle of another number (more on that much later), but I decided to stop and pick up some rhinestones for this project. The photo doesn't do much justice to the stone colors. I wanted smaller stones, but I had to go up a few sizes because they were out of the two shades I wanted. I figure these will get me started on my shimmy belt and bra back. I know I'll go through more than five gross (720) rhinestones on my remaining work. I don't want to buy more stones until I have the exact design of the belt and bra embellishment worked out. I'm trying to be smart with my spending, particularly because I want to give you, dear reader, an accurate idea of what it takes to make a fabulous costume. Because I know my way around the fashion district, there were short lines, and I was downtown for other reasons, it only cost me ten minutes to get stones.

I almost got a roll of gold sequin trim to embellish a couple panels of my skirt. The number debuts in three weeks. I'm not certain I'll have time to complete the sequin embellishment on the panels before the debut. I'd rather have solid choreography and a tailored dress with a decent hem first. At this stage of the game, I have to prioritize. I will embellish the panels, but that's not at the top of my list.

Total spent so far: $218.50 and 25:35
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Final Reveal: Smurfing Snaps

Who has baby blue nail polish? Me! I can't really wear it without turning my nails a hideous yellow, but I keep it in my closet just in case. I believe it was Penny Starr, Jr. who told me to use fingernail polish to paint snaps so they'd be camoflaged on the costume. I smurfed (painted) my snaps, then I smurfed (sewed) them onto the yoke. Smurfed my way through my costume tasks for the evening. Maybe tomorrow I'll trace my balls-tripping design onto some skirt panels.

Total spent so far: $187.97 and 25:25
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My Final Reveal: Wide Load

This expansion of my skirt yoke wouldn't be a problem if I had a longer torso, gave up the demon liquor, and/or stopped eating bread and sweets. I've gained back two of the five pounds I lost in my first month of workouts, and I haven't taken time off from my workout schedule. I guess last night was my last It's-It ice cream sandwich for a while (340 calories of deliciousness).

Who am I kidding? I'll just have to make up the damage with more physical activity.

I had this seemingly simple way to add these extensions to the sides so I could close the seams on the lining after turning the yoke right side out. When I stitched on the extensions last night and turned the pieces, I realized it was a bit stupid and a little more complicated than necessary. While the edges were nice, I would have to handstitch the front yoke to the back. That's how I spent my morning, or at least 15 minutes of it. Now it needs closures and some guy I know to scratch out some amazing designs for the embellishment. Better get right on him. Get right on him about that, I mean.

Total spent: $187.97 and 24:35
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Final Reveal: It's Golden

My beloved picked up some Mod Podge glimmer for me today so I could gussy up the soles of my shoes. That was a whopping $7.60. I trimmed down the clean brush I used for the glitter and slapped a couple coats on the soles this evening. I have plenty left for other projects, and the painting only took five minutes.

I spent a nice chunk of my evening cutting, interfacing and stitching two equal extensions for the sides of my skirt yoke. I have to stitch the extended front and back together tomorrow. I pinned it together for a fitting and I feel much better about how it fits.

Total spent so far: $187.97 and 24:20
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My Final Reveal: Nonsense

This is the pattern Evie and I were trying to grid. It's pretty crazy. I found a few repeats in part of the pattern, and I decided that should be the section I use. I enlarged it to 400% the original size and taped the pieces together. I will have to trace this onto some tracing/pattern paper to make my job easier when I put it on the fancy panels.

Total spent so far: $180.38 and 23:00
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Final Reveal: Tripping Balls

Last night I spent a couple hours working on my panel skirt with Evie. I took a seam ripper to my skirt yoke because I need a little more room. My torso is so short that I can't wear the yoke at my natural waist; that would leave only 2" or 3" between my bra and the skirt. I have to cut a couple pieces to add to the current yoke so it sits above my hips.

I had great luck cutting the panels for my skirt last night, and I think I'm going to sucker that husband of mine into drawing a snapper design onto the yoke and bra pack for me to rhinestone the shit out of. However, I had shit luck working on the design for a couple of the panels. Evie found a fantastic quilting pattern that I can use as an embellishment guide for some panels. She spent some time during my previous visit trying to grid the design so we could copy it onto the panels. While a lovely design, this shit is confusing. (Little old ladies are supposed to be able to hand sew this crazy shit.) I found the repeats in the design and I'm going to start fresh by enlarging those, then putting them on the panels.

This morning I stitched two pairs of panels together. I want my rear panels to have plenty of reach so I can manipulate them like a bellydance veil. As you can see in the photo, Buster wanted to help. I then chased him through the house when he captured the fabulous bra I covered last week. He really loves fabulous things.

Up next: making panels, fixing the yoke, and embellishment until I puke.

Total spent so far: $180.38 and 22:50
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Naked Girls Reading presents Burlesqueland IV

Join us on Saturday, March 17th, as NAKED GIRLS READING presents a very special night as part of Peepshow Menagerie's Three Day "BURLESQUELAND !V" event!

See Five Beautiful Naked Girls reading Disney themed books, Fairy Tales, stories about "THAT THEME PARK" we all know and love and much MORE!

Featuring Our Lovely Naked Readers:

(Best Solo Burlesque Performance and Legends Award Winner at the 2010 Boston Burlesque Expo)

(Burlesqueland Postergirl / "Robust and Sassy" ~ L.A. Weekly)

(Naked Girls Reading Los Angeles Podcast)



Door Admission - $18

Discounted Advance Tickets are also on sale for this event at and

Space is limited. If ticket sales are especially strong we may add another reader.

18 & Up - Adults Only

Admission includes an intimate wine reception for attendees 21 & Up following the reading.

No cameras allowed during the performance.


Live at
4270 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029

(Vlad's New Address just one minute from the Heliotrope location!)

Show Posters:


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. this case, reading Comic Books...


Friday, March 16, 2012

The Petting Pantry

WE’RE BACK, after a brief winter hiatus, we’ll be warming up the spring: dusting off the velvet curtains, lighting up the footlights and bringing back your favorite Roaring ‘20s Burlesque, Tin Pan Alley Tunes and Vaudevillian Sideshows!

With Live MUSIC by:

Doozy - Prohibition pop and Depression-era cheer. Popular tunes of the 1920s & '30s, plus delightful retro-originals!
with special guests Penny Starr, Jr.(producer of Victory Variety Hour) and Prix de Beaute, seducing the audience with a couple of numbers to a couple of Doozy originals!

Marquis W Howell II – Bass Slapper, Guitar Picker, Vintage Ephemeral Aggregator AND Howling Hobo of Hobo Jazz!

Cabaret Style BURLESQUE by:

Penny Starr, Jr - “Pe-Tite Barnum of Burlesque”

Red Snapper – "The Go All the Way Girl"

Judy Luck – That “Charming Darling of Burlesque”

Prix de Beaute – Rosy Cheeks, Red Hot Lips and a Million Dollars worth of Flying hips!

Vaudeville Style COMEDY by:

Mr. Snapper and Mr. Buddy – The chanteur and ukulele manhandler, and comedy-savant!

The Amazingly Odious Ari and the Capable Miss Puddles – Those two loathsome frauds you all know and love.

HOSTING this fine, little spectacle will be the one, the only Sugar T. Russell – “In the nineteen twenties and thirties…we had bathtub gin and Syphilis and we were glad to have it.”

The beautiful, Miss Vagillante will be assisting on stage, so come give her a hoot and holler as she shimmies and gives you a smack if you get outta line!

*PLUS a special surprise guest – you may recognize her from previous Petting Pantries, armed with ukulele and crystal ball in hand!

So folks, come down and see us at the beautiful Fais Do-Do (originally a bank built in 1930!). There is now a parking lot open across the street! Come down for a drink and an excellent vaudeville show!

Fais Do-Do
5253 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Doors: 9:00 PM
Show: 10:00 PM

Admission: $12

Burlesque Day at Disneyland IV


We will initially be meeting in front of the "REMEMBER THE MAGIC" sign that is directly between both parks between 11 and 11:30am.

We will be meeting to pose for the big group picture between 4 and 4:30pm

We will be posting other meeting times soon. Bring your cell phone so we can find each other easier.

Dress Code: Dress to the Nines or dress casual. Bring a change of clothes if you see fit. Just remember that you want to be able to walk comfortably through the park. Also this is a family park and we have no desire to upset sensitive park goers and parents.

Smuggling in a boa is a plus, but the burlesque kind - not the snake kind, please.

Here is Disneyland's current dress code policy:

"Rules for Modest Dress at Disneyland

Contraband clothing at Disneyland includes transparent clothes, gang patches, offensive or obscene T-shirts, excessively torn clothing and bikinis. Male and female guests are required to wear shirts and shoes.

Rules for Wearing Costumes at Disneyland

Guests UNDER THE AGE OF NINE are permitted to wear costumes – Disneyland is usually full of miniature Snow Whites and Cinderellas.

ADULTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR COSTUMES or clothing that could be mistaken for a costume. While this seems harsh, there is sound reasoning behind it. An adult dressed as Captain Hook could pose a danger to children who thought he was a legitimate Cast Member."

Facebook Invites for the other events during the 3 day BURLESQUE DAY AT D-LAND / BURLESQUELAND event:

Peepshow Menagerie presents BURLESQUELAND (Night One)
Thursday, March 15th, 2012, live at Bordello

Saturday, March, 17th, 2012, live at Vlad The Retailer

If you have any other questions, please ask here.

Don't Forget your Mouse Ears!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peepshow Menagerie presents Burlesqueland IV



Three Days of Dizney inspired Naughtiness! A Double E Ticket!

Peepshow Menagerie is a monthly comedy burlesque show which takes place on the third Thursday of every month. Each show is a jaunt into pop culture references and naughty hijinks. We adhere to the original tradition of burlesque which wasn't just about striptease but also about comedy, music, magic, storytelling, and variety acts.

This March we are taking our audience back to their childhood, again-AGAIN, with our 4th annual foray into the world of mouse ears and fairy tales. "BURLESQUELAND!" (aka its unofficial title of 'Burlesque Day At D-land'.)

We are very excited to be able to do BURLESQUELAND in a club where we no longer have the problem of the audience being squeezed together like sardines. Our new club can hold up to 700 people so there will be plenty of room for you to roam about, visit the bar, and we even have a lovely outdoor patio area!

This year we have more performers, several 'hidden mickeys', guest stars, and because of the great reception they got last year, we are bringing back our opening Baggy-Pants comedy act, MR. SNAPPER & MR. BUDDY.

We even have a super-secret surprise burlesque act to OPEN the show that isn't even listed on the poster! (Oooooooo!)

And the day after Peepshow Menagerie's show, as we did last year and the year before AND the year before, we are all going to Disneyland!

See 'Dizney' inspired Burlesque from:

"Best Solo Performance" and "Legend's Award" winner at the 2010 Boston Burlesque Expo

Miss Viva Las Vegas 2008

(from New Mexico and our 46th 'Peepshow Pin-Up')


Baggy Pants Comedy by

with a special appearances by

Hosted by:
("Robust & Sassy" ~ L.A. Weekly)

3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Doors open at 9:30pm with the show starting PROMPTLY at 10pm (But we always advise being there early in order to get the best seats and/or view of the stage. As there is no band opening the show, we advise getting there as close to door opening as possible in order to not miss any of the show.)

Admission is only $15 at the door.

21 & Up / Full Bar

Go to for performer bios and more info as it comes.


DAY TWO: Friday, March 16th - We're all Going to Disneyland!

NIGHT THREE: takes place at VLAD THE RETAILER on Saturday, March 17th in Hollywood where four beautiful naked women read Disney inspired stories and Fairy Tales. For more information about that show please go to the NAKED GIRLS READING Facebook page at:

(DAY FOUR: Sunday, March 18th is a special performer and production only brunch event. Performers, mark your calenders!)

We hope to see you at this show and that some of you join us for a trip to Dizneyland the next day. Imagine being able to go on rides with your favorite burlesque beauties! This will be our biggest show yet with more performers on one stage than we've ever had on one night with acts parodying rides like The Haunted Mansion and The Tiki Room (and more) as well as acts parodying many of your favorite Disney movies!

Sponsored by:

If you are a fan of Burlesque and Disney - DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!

Not convinced? Here's what the internets had to say!

~ Don't forget your MOUSE EARS!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Final Reveal: Now With More Snapper

I figured I should get started on accessorizing my new number. Accessories are often an afterthought for me. I know the colors, I know the style, I know the physicality of the number. it's time to get some bling.

I usually wear my little snapper necklace when I perform (I have four or five on hand so I'm never left without). The silver isn't going to work with my blue and gold costume, and a necklace is a bad idea with the asymmetrical gown bodice and the way I have to wear the bra. A bracelet seemed like a smarter idea. I found this little crocodile bracelet on ebay for a whopping $12.90 (shipping included). I can easily make some earrings to match the colors. (I wear these blues ALL THE TIME, so this piece can be used for other numbers.)

There is a trick to getting things like this for cheap: allowing plenty of time for it to arrive. I debut this number in a month, so I save money ordering it now. I have the leisure of getting the best price and not worrying about getting it on time.

Total spent so far: $180.38 and 20:25.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Night Tease! presents Girls in Uniforms

Monday Night Tease! presents Girls in Uniforms

Hosted by Lili VonSchtupp

Lili VonSchtupp shows why the Marines need a few good men.
Red Snapper is the Girl Scout
Dia Blow joins the Boy Scouts
Honey Ima Home is a Brownie
Angie Cakes does the Army proud
Lola LaBelle flies the friendly skys
Nancy SinUltra kicks her habit
Glama Sutra & Quinn T Sensual are the school girls
with some bonus Adult Education from Glama Sutra

$15 advance VIP seats available through Meetup
$15 tickets available at the door (seating may not be available)

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:

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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Final Reveal: Oh My Bra

I sat down for an hour and forty minutes yesterday to gussy up the slit of the dress so it has a nice, even edge. I was going to put some snaps down the opening below the zipper, but I decided instead to let the panel skirt beneath to peep through. Both the outer gown and the lining had to be pressed, pinned, stitched, and pressed again.

This evening I spent an hour and forty minutes securing the net to the top edge of the bra. I wanted the net gathered in certain places across the cups, but I didn't want to stitch it down and have it pucker. I used a little fabric glue to get it to catch in a few strategic places, and I glued some tiny and appropriately colored rhinestones to help hold the gathers in place on the cups. I have to buy rhinestones specifically for this costume, but I had some spares since I work in blues so frequently.

Total spent so far: $167.48 and 20:05.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Final Reveal: More Machine Than Manual

Three clear coats of Mod Podge later, I think my shoes are done. I'm giving them a day to dry before removing the tape protection from the sides. At least one part of the costume is done!

I'm using a yard of each shade of English net to cover the bra, then putting rhinestones on top of the swags. My thought was to incorporate the panel skirt motif throughout the costume. To get the gathers just right, I stitched them on my machine. They're far more satisfactory than they would be if I did them by hand. I'm searching for some kind of snapper to put in the center of the bra when it's done.

I really wish I could use my machine for the entire bra covering process. I handstitched the gathered net to one edge of the bra and my hand is unhappy. Stupid carpal tunnel. I'll have to take it with me as my office project tomorrow in the event things are quiet.

Total spent to date: $167.48 and 16:45.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Organic Choreography

I'm a huge fan of doing what comes naturally.  My body responds in different ways to different music.  I continue studying dance so I have a vocabulary and technique to refine my natural response to music, but it always comes down to what feels right.  Whenever I start a choreography project for myself, I put on a piece of music and see how I move to it.  I don't give myself limitations like "the bra has to be gone by this point" or "I have to do at least three lame pirouettes."  I just do what comes naturally.  Then I'll put on the song while I'm in the shower.  (Some people sing; I dance in the shower.)  No worries about shoes or clothing limitations.  It's all about how I can use my body organically to express the song.  Wonderful things come out in the home "laboratory" of organic dancing, things that get set as specific choreography bits.  After I've "felt" the music as many times as I need to have loose choreography, I look at what elements I can add or change to better entertain the audience.  With my own pieces, I don't usually write the choreography down; I rely on muscle memory.  Since it was created organically, it works well for me.  It helps to rehearse the hell out of a piece so the muscles have something to remember.

When I work privately with a student, I start by having them move to their music naturally.  Sometimes there's a little more technique involved, like covering some basic fan dancing moves before starting the organic movement.  I ask how they want to move, what are their ideas for the piece, what they want to show the audience.  Sometimes I tweak what they have, sometimes I work out specific moves based on the information they provide.  The important thing is how their bodies respond to the music.  It's easier for them to remember the choreography, and it doesn't come off as something pasted onto their numbers.  Sometimes they video the choreography we work out together, sometimes they write it down.  By using organic choreography as much as possible, there's room for more character stuff, audience connection, special flourishes to come out of the natural, comfortable moves.

I'm something of a choreography hippie, I guess.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Final Reveal: Did Towelie Have It Right?

Last Sunday I spent a solid hour trying to figure out what to do to embellish my bra and solve the strap problem. You see, I've developed jugs. This makes it pretty difficult to dance in a strapless bra because every move wiggles the bra lower on my ribcage. I hung out with Evie for a few hours, intending to mark the hem on my gown and start the panel skirt. We decided to build the undergarments then hem the skirt since you'll get a flash of the panel skirt from the outer dress. I tried twisting my mind around the bra for some brilliant idea, repeating Towelie's line from South Park: "Maybe if I was just a little high ..." Maybe the ideas would come faster, or maybe I'd eat all Evie's tofu since I've never really been high. Manipulating the fabric around the bra, looking for the right color rhinestone, I killed an hour on this costume.

Evie's big idea for my panel skirt was to make a skirt yoke from a pattern. She traced one for me and I cut it last night from leftover dress fabric. I would've just used stretch sequin trim (like the simple shimmy belt pattern). This is a much better idea. I had some leftover interfacing from a bustier I made to sell. I spent 40 minutes cutting the yoke, stitching it together, and dropping another layer of glitter on my shoes.

Total spent to date: $167.48 and 15:15.
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