What’s new?

March 25, 2008

Ok so I’ve been missing for a while but I do have lots to show for it!

My dissertation is finally complete and has been handed in, it’s a stage adaptation of Gypsy Rose Lee’s Burly-Q murder mystery, ‘The G-String Murders’ and isn’t too bad.. so long as you like the book! A soon as I can figure out how to convert my word doc. into .pdf format then I’ll happily distribute to anyone that wants to read it, or act it out if you really want to.

g-string-copy.jpg

I also tootled along to the London Burlesque Festival volunteer’s meet-up and will be helping out as a French Maid stage-hand for three nights! A friend of mine is performing on the 3rd at Tiger Tiger, so I’m looking forward to picking up her frilly things; and I hope you’ll be coming along to see her take them off!

The London Burlesque Festival is running from the 2nd-6th April with events organised at Madam JoJos, Bush Hall, Soho Revue Bar and venues across London. Chaz Royal is bringing acts from International waters over to the capital for his 2nd Annual Burlesque Festival, including my favourites, The Fleshoticas! They’re performing at the International Gala on the 5th (Bush Hall) and the Topless Revue on the 6th (Soho Revue Bar), so if you miss them one night you’ve got a chance to see them again! Highly recommended.

And today (last bit of news) I went and had my hair and make-up done as screen legend Rita Hayworth, and had some pictures taken as part of my friend Faye’s Specialist Make-up course. The photographs will be coming in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for them, but for now here are a few shots of me in the artists chair;

rita1.jpg

rita3.jpg

Enjoy! x

Yee-haw!

March 16, 2008

Rehearsals have begun for Lisa Devaney‘s HeeHaw Whorehouse, due to be performed at Madam JoJo’s on April 6th as part of Finger In The Pie Cabaret. Go to their website to pick up tickets! I will be dancing my début as Cindy Brandy Candy, the purdiest gal at the HeeHaw Whorehouse, so be sure to come along and check it out. We’re the first act of the evening, (doors at 7pm, show at approx. 8pm) so even if you’re planning to shoot off to Chaz Royal’s Topless Revue – which starts at 9pm at Soho Revue Bar, there’s no reason why you can’t swing by and catch us first! Here’s a little preview picture of the cast, courtesy of Madam Devaney…

heehaw.jpg

And a little description of what you can expect…

‘Cabaret meets Appalachia in Lisa Devaney’s Hee Haw! WhoreHouse, an Americana slapstick comedy that will have you a hooting ‘n a hollering and begging the bar for a swig ‘o moonshine. Inspired by the backwoods of the USA, where hillbilly fashion can still be spotted on Main Street, you’ll enjoy a finger-licking, foot-stomping good time at this hilarious whore house, and if you’ve only got pennies in your pocket, there are plenty ‘o rock-bottom bargain bin prices on offer to help even the poorest of the po’folk leave with a smile on their face.’

It should be a lot of fun… for both the performers and for the audience… one member in particular! So come along and join in for a rootin’ tootin’ good time!

Tournament of Tasties…

March 10, 2008

What a lot of lovely ladies! My friend and I were both Bethnal Green virgins, having always intended to, but never actually got around to seeing what all the fuss was about. Thursday night was our chance to do just that. I arrived disastrously late to meet my friend (apologies again!) wearing a black and white polka-dot dress and a fab white fluffy shrug (not pictured) that I picked up in Germany last year. Why is it that no matter how much I rush to get ready I still wind up late? Oh dear…

polkadot.jpg

Me wearing said dress at an LBF fundraiser last year.

So, back to the matter at hand. Arriving late I meet my friend (whose Victory rolls you could tell looked great, but had suffered from standing around waiting in the wind for half an hour…) and we walked from the tube station cautiously down the high street, looking left and right until we found Pollard Row, which we ambled up even more cautiously just in case we’d taken an ill-fated wrong turn. If I could make one suggestion to the management it might be that outside the building they have large neon signs with the obligatory arrows and ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ flashing on them, just to make the place a little easier to distinguish.

I’m not entirely sure of the history of the Whoopee! Club at Bethnal Green, or how it came to be that a little burlesque haven was tucked away in a working mens club, but I can only imagine (as in… this is a complete stab in the dark) that it’s in some way down to Jo King, as Goodtime Mama JoJo was certainly the heart and soul of the show. Although she reminded me somewhat of my Mum which was a little disconcerting, (my Mama was certainly one for a good time…) it was lovely to see her looking out for the girls when the judges gave them a hard time.

The acts were surprising good (having not known what to expect); we came to take a look at the competition and certainly saw that in the girls that performed. First up was Goldie May, whose clockwork doll routine was funny, sweet and sexy. You’ve got to hand it to a girl that can look good, dance, sing and make people laugh. Poor thing had lost the key from her key-hole… but luckily she could be “manually operated”! It was really very good. Other acts that stood out were the ‘Flapping Tappers’ who did a brilliant comedic dance routine, a geisha act and a surreal toreador who fought a plastic sheep then seduced a bull by taking her clothes off.

The venue was a little smaller than I think we were expecting but there was certainly room enough to swing a cat (not to mention nipple tassels…) and we even managed to find ourselves a seat for the second half. I think one thing that would put me off performing there would be the regular staff of the club; standing at the bar sipping our drinks a big long haired man came and stood in front of us to get a better look, and for some reason, his ogling, rather than appreciation, seemed to cheapen what the girls were doing. I didn’t like that much. Burlesque tends to draw a particular crowd, unlike ordinary mainstream stripping, and when there are people in the audience that wouldn’t care if the girl was wearing a neon g-string and nothing else, then it isn’t as much fun anymore. I completely understand the nature of the game, Burly-Q wouldn’t be where it is without men paying to see some naked flesh; but nowadays it’s the women in Burlesque that define what they do as an art-form – be that as performers or audience members. Without respect of the art you may as well head down to some sleazy club, where the girls will take their clothes off quicker and you’re likely to see a whole lot more. I know I’m acting like a purist, and I really have no right to, but this thing that I love, I hate to see tainted… and now I’m off my moral high-horse I’ll finish what I started.

Tournament of Tease: If you want to see good quality performances from rising stars of the Burly-Q then I thoroughly recommend a visit – especially if you’re on a budget (entry £8, drinks approx. £3 each), Burlesque Bargain ladies and gents, what more could you ask for?

Roll up, Roll up!

March 6, 2008

Right then Ladies and Gents, who is going to Tournament of Tease this evening? It’s at Bethnal Green Working Mens Club, doors open at 8.30 show starts at 9.30. Can’t make the class with Jo King beforehand, but I will be there with some girls from the workshop to scope the competition!

Now then, decisions decisions… whatever shall I wear?

Victory!

March 3, 2008

03032008119.jpg

This was my first attempt at victory rolls and from the front it didn’t look too bad… bit more practice and I’ll be a pro! All I can say is thank you Ruby Rose! x

Just a few photos…

March 3, 2008

That I had taken the other night. Ooh I’m such a show-off!

 look.jpg

bed.jpg

Where do I begin?

March 3, 2008

Saturday morning I packed up a little green suitcase with a contents that made it the most fun thing I have ever had the experience of packing. It contained:

  • A white shirt
  • A red polka dot skirt
  • Red peep-toe heels
  • A red and white dotty head-scarf
  • A faux fur stole
  • A red paper parasol
  • Long black gloves
  • A bustle
  • A bra
  • Suspenders
  • Stockings
  • A red feathered corset
  • A red lipstick
  • Black eye-liner
  • Nipple tassels

Yes ladies and gents, I was packing for a weekend of fun at the BWI‘s (Burlesque Women’s Institute, for those of you not in the know) Ultimate Burlesque Workshop in London; hosted by the fabulous Ruby Rose and the infectiously energetic Venuss Envy. And I cannot begin to describe the amazing time I had there. Though having said that… let me give it a go!

I joined the BWI’s fab forum last Summer (a very lovely place to hang out, talk about hair, make-up, burly-q and more) and having heard how much fun the workshops had been, I put my name down for their first London workshop of 2008. And boy am I glad that I did! It was like coming home to be honest, a course that seemed to cover all of my favourite things!

On day one we looked at different styles of dance with Venuss Envy; having worked as a professional dancer she led us through a thorough warm-up (we ended up using muscles we never knew we had!), and we got to grips with the can-can. I don’t think I will ever forget the fun we had running round with our skirts hitched, screaming our heads off! We weren’t perhaps the greatest can-can dancers the world had ever seen, but by golly we were enthusiastic!

The afternoon saw us looking at characterisation, which luckily involved us all looking at clips from seemingly every single one of my favourite films! Can you imagine another course where you get to watch Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot for inspiration? I loved it!

On day two we started with hair and make-up (evil rail replacement buses made me an hour late!) – so I missed victory rolls and barrel curls and arrived just in time for head-scarves and quiffs. I feel like, combined with the make-up element, I learned so much about where I can take my own style and develop it further – make everything bigger! Was really inspiring, and I’m sure a lot of the girls came away with new ideas and tricks up their sleeves, just as I did. And absloute darling that Miss Ruby Rose is, she went through with me what I’d missed, later in the day, how’s that for dedication?!

To think that one day you can meet a room full of strangers, all dressed, all a little nervous, maybe even shy… then to reach that point on a Sunday afternoon where you’ll quite happily stand there half naked, tasseling away to each other with no-one so much as batting an eyelid, you can see the journey you’ve gone through, and where it’s taken you.

tassles.jpg
My home-made tassels and pasties!

I think I’ve given you some insight into the wickedly wonderful things that we were getting up to… but as one girl said to me;

“What happens in class, stays in class!”

So if you want to see for yourself just what you’re missing, then do try and get along because you will have so much fun. Venuss and Ruby are so accomodating, and I could not have asked for better teachers. (Hence me putting my name down for the intermediate course before details are even published!) I met some really lovely people this weekend, and had such an amazing time. It has to be burlesque for me. Because I know now, there is nothing else that I could love this much!