Resolutely New this Year

January 5, 2011

So 2011 has kicked off and the resolutions are ‘go’. Whether you’re sticking to them like glue or you’ve fallen off the wagon a few (dozen) times there’s still chance to make a few more. The resolutions I propose I guarantee you’ll find a lot more fun than locking the chocolates away and steering clear of the cocktail hour!

1. So you’ve bought a beautiful vintage hat/ gloves/ parasol / dress but it’s been sitting in your wardrobe because there’s nothing to wear it with? This year it shall go to the ball! Do some research online, watch some old films or flip through some fashion books and decide just what you need and in what colour to make your item shine. Once you’ve drawn up a sketch of your ideal ‘look’ then turn to sourcing the rest of your outfit; charity shops as well as vintage and new could well yield the appropriate items. And don’t forget what the wonders of dye and new buttons can do!

2. Maybe you’ve been interested in Burlesque for a while but you’ve still not been to see a show? Rather than relying on YouTube and the Cinema why not make it a resolution this year to pop down to your local Burlesque night and really see what it’s all about? There’s nothing like the woop and cheer of a live show to bring the performances to life, the buzz in the air is well worth the cover charge and it’s a perfect excuse to wear that new outfit you’ve been working on. If you’re in London then take a chance to see some of the best in Burlesque at Chaz Royal’s London Burlesque Week 2011,  details to follow, an event which I make every single year, last year meeting and watching the stunning Catherine D’Lish!

3. Get reaccquainted with some old friends and make some new ones. Marilyn, Audrey, Betty and Rita have been sitting on the shelf just waiting to brighten your day with chic and sequins. If you’re in need of a little inspiration then the gestures, the make-up, the hairsyles and most definitely the fashions are there in all the old classics. If you’re looking for a change then do your homework and find some new favourite stars, the forties and fifties were full of them! Here’s a few films (old and new) to get you started:

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Amy Adams, Frances McDormand
It Started in Naples – Clark Gable, Sophia Loren
Bringing Up Baby – Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant
The Seven Hills of Rome – Mario Lanza
Golddiggers of ’33 – Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers
Cover Girl – Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly
Gigi – Leslie Caron. Louis Jordan
The 39 Steps – Robert Donat, Madeline Carroll

4. Get caught up on some fabulous reading* with Dita’s ‘Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/ Fetish and the Art of the Teese’, Liz Goldwyn’s delightful coffee table book ‘ Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens’ and ‘The Queens of Burlesque’ by Len Rothe. Michael Prior’s ‘Titzen and Blitzen’ also has a whole host of photographs from London Burlesque Festival 2008 (see if you can spot me in the sleeve!!).

*looking at pictures of beautiful costumes/poses/ladies and sighing wistfully…

5. Always wanted to perform? Wondered what it’s like even just to try in the bedroom? Make this the year that you give it a go and find a local workshop or regular class near you.  You needn’t spend a fortune and you may just discover the performer in yourself. Plus dancing around with a load of lovely ladies is possibly the best way I’ve ever spent a weekend, feather boas flying, red lipstick air kisses, satin gloves strewn across the floor and laughter tearing through the air!

Above all lovelies, I hope you find this your best most glitziest year yet,

Tiara x

 

 

Rally the troops!

May 8, 2009

Please my darlings – do your bit in helping save Burlesque from the evil clutches of the Empire… well, Government. If you haven’t read about the ban in Camden Council then I refer you to my previous post (that bit before the pictures for those of you with bad memories!) There is currently an online petition which takes a few seconds to complete, in the hopes that this Burly-Q ban won’t spread like a plague of rabbits (very pleased with myself there for avoiding yet another joke about swine flu!).

For those of you in need of a bit more information, take a gander at this:

Under Section 25 of the proposed “Policing and Crime Bill 2008-2009” Burlesque will potentially be eradicated due to the requirement of a “Sexual Encounter Entertainment License” even though there is no nudity in burlesque (as described in section 25) it has been stated by certain boroughs already that the element of the removal of part of you clothing constitutes as stripping and therefore requires a license, although you are able to appear in front of an audience partially clothed you are not allowed to remove any item of clothing in front of an audience in order to achieve this state without the aforementioned license. We would like this loop hole in the act removed to ensure that performances that involve the removal of part of your clothing and do not result in nudity will not require licensing.” – Tricia Cox, Petition Creator

And for gawd sakes – SIGN NOW!

petition

So what is my mantra again? Well… (and feel free to join in with me):

“A picture is worth a thousand words…”

So bearing that in mind my darlings rather than rant on and on about the things I’ve been up to during my overly long absence I thought I’d share with you some pictures instead.

First up – remember me telling you oh-so-long ago that I premiered my Diamond Dogs act at Smooch Rocks? Well at long last I have a snapshot to show you and give your eyes a rest from all that red I’m normally trussed up in!

(not quite as ‘fluffy’ as my other routines)

If you want to see the reveal… you’ll just have to come see the show!

Photos (c) Zerrin

The next picture isn’t a performance pic – but an example of how I made it through Glastonburly in style thanks to my Mahni Dare headress:

And last but not least, a couple of photos courtesy of James Reynard at The Sensual Image of my Billet Doux act, taken at the Cabaret and Burlesque Meetup.

Right my lovelies, I promise to put together a proper blog post soon with info about upcoming acts etc… but very busy bee at the moment so hoping these will keep you occupied for now!



Okay, so you all know I wrote a stage adaptation of The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee… but have any of you seen the film? ‘Lady of Burlesque‘ sees our ecdysiastic heroine replaced with Barbara Stanwyck’s Dixie Daisy (I called my lead Dixie Lee!) who gets up to the same crime solving adventures as our own Gypsy does in the book. Although not the greatest film in the world; it’s a wonderful insight into the world of American Burlesque houses in the 1930’s/40’s for anyone without the time or patience to read the book. As with most risque films of the period (Tod Browning’s classic ‘Freaks‘ as a prime example) the censors went to town and deemed it too racy for contemporary audiences.

If you have read the book then you’ll realise just how tame it is – especially to modern eyes that have seen the likes of ‘Showgirls‘ and ‘Striptease‘! In the book there were inferences of lesbian police officers and the methods required to stop your breasts from dropping – none of that for Miss Stanwyck though! The end of the film, despite its age, still chills me to the bone just as the book does (the book more so… there’s talk of stuffing a body into a dressmakers dummy…) and I have to say it’s worth watching for any Burlesque aficionado.

When talking about BurlyQ films how could I not mention one of my all time favourites? Right up there with ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘ and ‘Gigi‘ for it’s feel-good factor and musical score; the wonderful life story of one of my favourite gals – ‘Gypsy!‘ (the Natalie Wood version of course…) Based on her memoirs it recounts the story of Rose Hovick, a very famous stage mother who pushed her girls into the limelight whatever the consequences. The result? Miss Gypsy Rose Lee, who as we all know boys and girls – became possibly the biggest name Burlesque had ever seen. Unless you’re a big fan of Bette Midler and prefer filmed versions of Musicals to actual films – I’d suggest not bothering with the remake – it really doesn’t stand up in comparison.

Of course one thing left out of the musical was the speculation that Rose Hovick was actually a lesbian that shot and killed her lover, amongst other things… but I guess that wouldn’t sell as well in 1962!

My advice? Get dressed up in your favourite frock – pour yourself a glass or two of something bubbly – and indulge in an evening of some vintage Burlesque. It. feels. fabulous!

Full Shimmy Ahead!

June 18, 2008

Well my darlings, how’s tricks? I don’t know about you – but I have been busy busy busy! First up I’ve been getting together my Myspace so please come and add me as a friend as it is a very slow business! Still need to work on the aesthetics but it’s just somewhere to direct people to for now… And more pictures coming as and when I perform!

As for that, I will be performing my act ‘Billet doux’, which had it’s premier at The Amersham Arms; as part of the Cabaret and Burlesque Meet-up on July 3rd on Brick Lane. Of course, no Smooch Rocks this month so you’ll have to miss out on the PVC for a little while… Here’s a little teaser of what to expect on the 3rd though:

So what can we deduce from these pictures? Well there’s a glove and a man and a chair involved… but I won’t say in which order… Expect a couple of differences though… namely the man (I just get bored once the presents wear off!) and a couple of changes that come with time and practice. So if you want catch my act or catch up with me about some unpaid bills(!) then I will be performing and generally loitering around the Vibe Live at the Truman Brewery on BrickLane on Thursday the 3rd of July!

Right then – enough plugging out of the way… Although I must add I will be in possession of my fab new MOO business cards, with a different picture on each (I like to think of them as old-school cigarette cards… Adelaide Adams anyone?) and all with my contact deets for potential bookers and promoters. If that sounds like you then be sure to get there sharpish and choose your favourite!

In other news I have completed my degree in Acting for Stage and Media… entering the big scary world of actual proper jobs (which are harder to find than you might think!) so if you don’t hear from me for a while I’m probably out on the streets somewhere singing torch songs for cash… Ah the joys of being a penniless performer!

As promised to all those lovelies that voted for me (click here and vote if you haven’t already!) here are some pictures of last night’s performance – which you should have all seen by the way!:

Me and my man… ahhh… So we arrive on the stage so I can show off my new outfit and he goes and sticks me with a bill for it all! Of course with no cash in my wallet I have to give it all back to him. Just as well he prefers me without my clothes on!

So a couple of weeks ago I get a call from one of the guys who run a fab Burlesque night; Ska Burlesque, asking me if I’d come along and do some flyering in return for free entry to their night at the Macbeth on Hoxton Road. Free Burlesque?? Why of course I’ll come help! With the amazing added bonus that the lovely Millie Dollar was performing, then how could I refuse?

Ska Burlesque

It was a mission and a half to make it to Hoxton Road; meeting the organisers at Old St. tube station we high tailed it across East London getting lost along the way and eventually making it to the Macbeth. The venue is really quite nice with a roof terrace upstairs for smokers and definitely room and a half to swing a cat. The only real problem that emerged later was with the stage… with Ska bands performing there were a whole load of instruments taking up all the room so when it came to the turn of the Burly-Q babes there wasn’t that much room for them to move. The true professionals that they were, I have to say all of the girls performing carried on regardless and shimmied on through.

Before I get on with the show I’ll tell you a bit about my adventure in flyering as much of East London as I could muster. The aim: Get to Brick Lane and back before 9 O’Clock. Having got a little lost on the way we asked for directions to Brick Lane… not the wisest move as it turned out… tottering around in my heels and seamed stockings (is there another way to flyer?) we managed to trek half way across London in search of Brick Lane only to end up walking down some scary looking side alleys where people didn’t seem too interested in a Burlesque night. Just as we were losing hope I heard a woman on her mobile; “Yeah… we’re just on our way to Brick Lane now” Success! So, after some subtle following we reached our destination and there was the occasional cry of ‘Oooh!’ which told us the job was done. Aside from a run in with a crack-whore and a few other suspicious looking characters the people we were most thankful to meet were some lovely London cabbies who pointed us back in the direction of the Macbeth, ten minutes to nine!

Having thought we wouldn’t make it back alive we declared the mission a success and set about ordering some well-deserved drinks. So who do I bump into looking absolutely gorgeous? The wonderful Foxtrot India who performed at the Tiger Tiger night of the LBF who had come to watch the show. And first up was Lydia Darling performing a double act with I believe Amanda Mone – but don’t quote me on that! Two girls on a tiny stage wasn’t quite so easy but they pulled it off all the same and I gave a hand with the pick-up as there was a lot taken off between the two of them. When I’d heard earlier that the Ska bands would be playing 45 minute sets I wasn’t too convinced that the whole thing would work… 5 minutes of Burlesque followed by an hour or so of music until the next – but the first band – Number One Station, were brilliant, and people were up drinking and skanking away quite happily and wait for the next act of the night, Bella Besame. Bella was a performer that I was aware of but hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing perform, and by golly she is one sexy lady!

I’d been able to introduce myself in the break to Millie Dollar who is absolutely lovely, and she came to the front with Foxtrot India and I to get the best view (and of course to have room to dance once Bella’s act was finished!) it really was a wonderful atmosphere. I disappeared a couple of times as I just got chatting to so many different people about Burlesque and what it means to them. Was nice to hear some different perspectives from the eclectic crowd that had gathered there; all in one room you had the burlesque fans, the ska fans and everybody that had just come along for a good time. And what a good time it was. By the time Millie Dollar took to the stage the party was in full swing, and her powder puff routine was just gorgeous. Having seen her stuff online I was blown away at how good it was in the flesh (so to speak) and what a top-notch performer she is.
Thanks Millie for getting me to the tube station in my rather drunken state!

So all I can do is whole-heartedly recommend a great night with friendly people, fab performers and cool music.

AND what’s more, I will be performing at their other venue, The Amersham Arms in New Cross on June 6th, so come along and join in the fun!

Diamond Dogs

April 20, 2008

My latest act – due to debut at ‘Smooch Rocks’ at the Devonshire Arms, Camden on June 20th:

‘Diamond Dogs’

Tiara Diamond truly is ‘man’s best friend’, as she transforms beneath the glow of a full moon into a sultry, PVC-clad super-vixen…

For bookings email tiaradiamond@hotmail.co.uk

More about the LBF later… but for now I want to share some pictures from my first performance at Madam JoJo’s as part of the Hee Haw! Whore House for Finger in the Pie Cabaret…

(c) Flavia Fraser-Cannon

Images 1 and 3 (c) Flavia Fraser-Cannon
Image 2 (c) Darrell Berry

For all those that missed it, we had a brilliant time. I spent the following two hours afterwards flitting between Madam JoJo’s and Soho Revue Bar to catch some of the LBF’s topless revue – though I have to say the crowd over there didn’t seem to be going for it like the Finger in the Pie crowd! Mariella Harlotta and Ruby Corsette were wonderful – though I’m sorry to say I was backstage for the first half so didn’t get to catch Aliens Ate my Schnitzel or any of the other lovely acts.

Will say one thing though – after working tirelessly backstage at the festival, it was so refreshing to just turn up as a performer, get ready and do my thing… something I hope to be doing a lot more of in future… so watch this space my darlings, Tiara Diamond has just begun!