Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012-06-26 Aural Mixation with Lola LeSoleil

On Tuesday, June 26, I walked into Spinarella Pole/Dance/Fitness to find Lola LeSoleil setting up her computer and projector and one fo the students already there eagerly awaiting instruction...the class wasn't scheduled to start for another 15 minutes, but everyone was excited!  As she was setting up the rest of her class came in, nearly sold out, people were huddling together around tables and outlets to plug in their laptops.  

The class covered an explanation of why and how music is used in performance to help portray mood, setting, and what other information the audience gets from the music before you ever walk out on stage.  How moving to the beat, the melody, etc.. will change your message and will impact different things.  Once she finished going over how to pick out music she began going over the fine art of splicing!  She took two songs and some sound  effects and showed the class how to loop, cut, paste, etc... to make a song the right length, flavor and anything else you may want to have for your sound.  There was debate as to style, what you should look for for different effects and multiple websites to find sound effects.  The students had lots of great questions and Lola had a lot of great answers.

The students are starting to have some amazing ideas for their routines for the student showcase on August 24th.  It's going to be a great show and have some amazing new talent!


The next class will be Chair Work with Katherine Lashe on Tuesday, July 10 from 6:30-8:30pm at Spinarella.  You can purchase your class online at

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012-06-21 Mrs. Roper Glamour Shots

First let me say that I am saddened by the fact that my production meeting for Dracula ran over so I was unable to make the shoot.  I had my Caftan in the car along with my wig, make-up, and sequined hair flowers, belt and other accessories I bought for the occasion.  However, this is such an amazing group that I felt the need to at least acknowledge the event even though I couldn't attend.

The International Order of Mrs. Roper's is a social club whose mission statement is, "For those who believe that everything is better in a caftan....The IOMR gets together every few months to dress up in caftans and have an amazingly good time.  Past events have included Night of 1,000 Mrs. RopersThree Caftans to the Wind (Regal Beagle Two: Electric Boogaloo), and having a float in the Inman Park Parade for which they won third place!  For those who don't know who Mrs. Roper is, she was the landlord's wife in Three's Company with the bright red curly hair that always wore a caftan and was always badgering her husband for sex.  Mrs. Roper was played by Audra Lindley.  The Order has very inexpensive membership fees to help pay for the fun and attendees are asked for donations at the events.  For example they used some of the money to help pay for items for their parade float which included parasols that the walking Ropers carried and when the Queen Roper (Akiko Jones) would blow her whistle all the Ropers would twirl in unison!  

On Thursday, at The Goat Farm, the Burlesque Camera Club (a subsection of the Atlanta Photographers Guild) was temporarily taken over by the IOMR for glamour shots.  They had group photos and then individual shots with free Mimosas and Champagne because everything better with a drink!  Here is a photo that was publicly posted from the shoot by Stacy Sutton Williams (a noted Caftangelist), hopefully this will entice you to put on a caftan and join the IOMR!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012-06-19 You've Got It, Now Flaunt It with Rosie Palms

On Tuesday, June 19th Rosie Palms came and taught the third class in the summer session of Syrens of the South Tease U burlesque series.  Rosie Palms, who celebrates her 4 year anniversary of graduating from our first student showcase this August, comes with 20 years of exotic dance training.  We've very lucky to have someone who has so much experience willing to provide her time to the students.  We had a sold out class (though one student NCNS, so we hope she's okay) which is always a great feeling for the teacher and a great way to start a class!

Her class focuses on body image and movement with pointers on how to find your center and being comfortable in your own skin.  In two short hours she took the class from being stiff and unsure to loose and moving around like they'd been dancing for years.  She went over some basic stretches, struts, and some strip tease with over sized button down shirts.  The girls were really getting into it and having a great time.  One of the things I love is the sense of camaraderie that occurs with the ladies in the classes.  As each girl strutted across the floor and did their thing the rest of the class clapped and applauded for each other.  That is the best thing about these classes are the friendships that develop through this shared experience.

Next week will be Aural Mixation with Lola LeSoleil.  For those who plan on performing with the student showcase this is a great time to narrow down your choices for your music and play with it a little.  It's also a great time to ask about music ideas and where to go with your act from a music stand point.  You can purchase your class in advance at the class page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012-06-16 The Boob Tube Show

This past weekend was Father's Day and as my daddy lives in Chattanooga and we had to go mow the lawn at my grandfather's house in Oak Ridge.  B and I figured that we should drive up to Oak Ridge after he got off work on Saturday and then stop by Chattanooga on Sunday to see my daddy.  Since we were going up to Oak Ridge anyway on Saturday we figured we would swing by The Prince Deli and Sports Bar and go see the awesomeness that is Salome Cabaret and their Boob Tube Show.

Now true, television themed burlesque shows aren't something new.  I know of at least two that have happened hear in Atlanta, Mon Cherie Presents did one a while back, about a year before that Blast-Off Burlesque did one and I am sure there have been many others.  What makes this theme awesome is the familiarity of the shows we all know and love and as there are so many shows out there each show will still be different. Everyone has different favorite shows they want to tribute, so no matter how many people do the theme the shows will NEVER be the same.  This show had references to TV shows that I haven't thought of in years and it made me unreasonably happy!  There were a few that took us a minute to identify that were in the opening show music but we eventually got them all and began singing along.  There is nothing quite like sitting around drinking and singing along with your friends to television themes songs you didn't even know you still knew.

As there was a vacant VIP table myself, B, Lola LeSoleil and Sunny Midnight decided that we needed it and promptly took it over.  Their VIP table was pretty happening.  We had a giant remote control, a large bucket of popcorn as well as Mike'n'Ikes and Dots to snack on.  They had also taken the time to make TV screen fans so you could hold them up and watch the show through your own personal TV which was pretty awesome and I attempted to take pictures through one a few times.  Also on our table were photos of old TV Guide covers which included The Cosby Show, Dexter, Golden Girls, and a bunch of others.  There were also TV Guide and As Seen on TV logos strewn about which were just a nice touch for the occasion.  Also, when the waitress came she informed us that VIP tables got one half price appetizer.  We chose the fried okra with a side of ranch which was pretty tasty.  We all had a few drinks, my suggestion for drinking there is to get a mixed drink, they are a lot more generous with those then they are with their shots.  Also, Jager is ridiculously expensive there so avoid it unless you have deep pockets.

The show was MCed by Big Gay James and Weird Alice in her triumphant return to the stage.  Between each act Big Gay James and Weird Alice would do bits or sing old theme songs to keep the audience entertained during act set-ups and break downs.  One of my favorties was Big Gay James sitting on stage with his laptop pretending to type while the Doogie Howser, M.D. music played and Weird Alice did the voice over off stage for the skit and the intro.  Weird Alice was also apparently supposed to do the Blossom dance, complete with hat, but the sound guy messed up their music (a bunch of times actually) so she wasn't able to do it.  They were hilarious and kept the show moving even with all of the sound issues that kept happening.  They even had a few small bits that interacted with the performers routines including the first one of the evening, Miss Lydia Thorne came out and arrested Big Gay James in her tribute to Cops!  The next act was a fairly spicy ST:TNG routine between Data and, well, she was wearing a Dianna Troy outfit but the character that had sex with Data in the show they sampled from was Tasha Yar.

One of my favorite routines of the night was done by Salome Cabaret founding member Siren Santina as Pee Wee Herman.  She started the routine in the famous grey suit with the theme song from Pee Wee's Playhouse.  At the end of the theme song she pulled out the secret word for the day which was Tequila and we all screamed.  The music then went into the Tequila song and she did the Pee Wee Herman Dance, complete with big white shoes while she stripped.  However, her routine had one of the best uses of music editing I have ever seen, every time the song said Tequila she had added a 2-3 second pause and would stop her routine and scream as Tequila was the word of the day and then immediately pick back up where she was in the song and the strip tease.  It was brilliantly well done and definitely one of the high spots of the show.  Next came Nipsy Tussle in a tribute to True Blood as a Merlotte's waitress to the True Blood theme.  I loved that she took the extra effort to add sequins and such to the Merlotte's logo on her shirt and her apron to give it that extra touch.

Tiger Tangerine's routine had me giddy before she ever got on stage.  I saw her from the side of the stage with her orange legs, white fluffy butt and purple cloak, hat and mask and began to squeal as it could only mean Dark Wing Duck!  Her costume was spot on and her music was a weird mixture of the theme song and a rap that was done about the beloved cult cartoon.  There was a debut that night as well, Dustin The Wind ventured from burlesque handler and manager to boylesquer extraordinare! He came out as Dan in a pretty hilarious tribute to the show Rosanne, complete with flannel and diner references.  Closing out the first act was Delinda D'Rabbit.  Inbetween The Walking Dead and Bath Salts zombies are all over the news right now so she brought out her undead routine.  I've seen this act before and she had revamped it since last I saw it and let me tell you, it was amazing!  She also drooled blood all over the audience which was a nice touch and B got covered so it made me giggle.  Her messy routine required the intermission to clean it up and so they could do extensive set up for the opening of the second half while we all got our bathroom breaks and drink refills.

Sadly, during the second half of the show my fancy camera died so I tried to take a few shots with my cell phone, but they aren't nearly as fancy.  The second half opened with Peppy Schlongstocking as Dexter taking a victim and then taking it off.  Then came Nipsy Tussle as Mrs. Roper in a Three's Company Tribute with many different caftans, The International Order of Mrs. Ropers would have been so proud.  Rosey Lady came out with a Game of Thrones routine, it's the only show they tributed that I've never seen, however, her three dragons at the end made were amazing and the whole routine was still really enjoyable even for someone who's never seen the show.  Cougar Cantrell did a pretty energetic and funny routine to televised football.  Siren Santina can back out with an amazing Spiderman routine including some spectacular webbed fans.  She was spidey, she was slinky and just a little slutty!  Beelzalbetty had a super cute Dragnet routine that involved her pulling her handcuffs from a special place before handcuffing a lucky audience member to her and then taking them to the back!  Closing out the show was Kisa von Teasa as Rainbow Brite.  It was as shiny and bright as I remember it being with the special touch of awkward that only Kisa von Teasa can add.  She is the queen of awkward and in addition to a crotch exploding with rainbows and her sprites were in a special place for all the audience to see!  I tried to get a cast photo through the television that was on the VIP table but it cut out half the cast, but it's still cute!


Friday, June 15, 2012

2012-06-14 Mad Lib-Ations

A while back Mon Cherie Presents had meetings so that performers could get together, talk about up coming shows, network, etc...  however it was usually during the day before 4pm because that was the only time available at the venue before everyone had to get bustling for whatever shows were going to occur that night.  I came to as many as I could but with school and such it was very hard for me to always make the meetings.  The ones that I came to had either a handful of people that rotated out or it ended up being just her, me and maybe one other person.  With the time being hard for people to make she decided to come up with something new!

In March, Mon Cherie debuted her newest endeavor, Mad Lib-Ations at L5P Corner Tavern.  So when she started out this was a once a month event, however it has taken off so well that it now occurs every Thursday!  From 7pm-midnight people could come out, grab dinner, grab a drink and fill out up to 9 forms of random nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, etc... for some amazing prizes.  It would also act as a new time and place for Mon Cherie to be able to meet and greet with potential performers, sponsors, and networking for everyone who wants to show up.  She also has set up meetings for businesses that have been hiring around Atlanta to help people find jobs in these tough times.  So not only can you go have a great time, you can meet people and help your career.

Last night was the first time I got to come out for Mad Lib-Ations and it was an amazing time.  B, Lola LeSoleil and I arrived around 9pm and caught a glimpse of Talloolah Love before she ran off.  We had drinks, ordered food, named our team "Motor Homes of Distinction" and proceeded to come up with some of the most random things we could think of to fill out our forms for each round.  After our first round we were joined by Sunny Midnight and her entourage.    We had two teams for our table and then Lola and I decided to buy some raffle tickets.  They were 1 for $5, 3 for $10 or crotch to floor for $20.  Lola le Soleil's and I decided to pool our money and her crotch to floor got us 20 tickets!  We won 1st place for four rounds of Mad Libs and won three raffle prizes!   Our loot included: $20 gift certificate to The Corner Tavern, one hour portrait or boudoir session from The Photo Factory and Studio, a Lux De Ville hand bang, a hat and fascinator by Habadab'Cherie, a pair of earrings by Jezebel Blue, and a $50 gift certificate for Loki Shane Defrice at Sacred Heart Tattoo in Little Five Points.

We had an amazing silly time and rediculous amount of fun.  The cost is only as much food and drink that you want to purchase and if you decide to buy raffle tickets as there is no cover.  We couldn't use the $20 gift certificate the night we won it but we'll definitely be going back to cash that in!

As far as Little Five Points Tavern itself, over all the staff was really nice, except for the lady who was our actual waitress.  She was kind of gruff and unfriendly.  We got our food and such, but she was obviously not happy about it.  The rest of the staff that was helping her out was super nice and really friendly so I'm assuming that our waitress was just having an off night.  Just as a word of caution, as there were six of us at our table they did add an 18% tip to the bill.  I hate when places do that, so you've been warned.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012-06-12 Tassels and Glove Pulls with Katherine Lashe

So this past Tuesday was out second class in Syrens of the South's Tease U: 10 week class series, we went over Tassels, Assels and Glove Pulls, OH MY!  We had 7 lovely students for this class, the 4 from last week all returned and 3 new ones!  I do love when people have so much fun in class that they convince their friends to come and take the classes with them!

First we at down and sorted out the pasties so everyone could find the right size and discussed the different techniques for applying them and how to do an instant boob lift using only strategic pastie placement.  Once everyone had their pasties we divided up gloves to make sure that everyone had a pair and then we got started.

We went over the basics, how to get floppy fingers, pulling from a varity of angles including using your other hand, mouth, knees and your shoes to take off your gloves.  Once we worked on that we switched to pasties.  Everyone was twirling tassels in multiple directions by the time we were done going over the basic movements.  After that it was time for Assels.  Assels are exactly what you think they are, they are pasties attached to the hiney so you can twirl tassels on your butt!  I did the demonstration and they let everyone that wanted to try it out do so.  Only 3 of the students felt froggie enough to do it but all that tried were successful.

Once we had gone over the glove pulls and the tassels we gathered everyone back up and using the basic dance routine we did last week we added in glove pulls and tassel twirls to the routine as a refresher of last weeks basic moves (and as an intro for those that missed last week) and showing a way to incorporate the new skills they learned in this class.  Everyone did a wonderful job!  Next week Rosie Palms will be teaching You've Got It, Now Flaunt It!  There are still spaces available if you'd like to sign up please do so on the Syrens of the South Class Page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012-06 3rd Annual Carolina Burlesque Fest

I was very excited to be invited to perform at the 3rd Annual Carolina Burlesque Fest in Charleston, SC.  I put together a new number that had been banging around in my head for the occasion.  I debuted it a few weeks ago and got to perform it for the festival.  Below is my diary of random things from my adventures from the festival.

**Please note some links are actual links to websites, some are just links to photos, you'll only know if you click!**

Day 1, Thursday, June 7
On Thursday, June 7, B and I packed our bags and hit the road...for around 5 hours...  We had the amusement of discovering North, South Carolina and a few other odd ball things on the way.  Also, I discovered Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries and Uncle Buck's Bacon Jerky.  I seriously love tacky truck stops for they have these amazing items as well as rhinestone belts and cowboy hats with leopard print and rhinestones. Had I the cash on hand they would have had all money money and I would be covered with shiny things.

We made it to the host hotel which would be our home for the next three days.  However, thanks to having tons of points we made it to our three day hotel stay with my only having to pay for one day so whoot being economical.  We were exhausted, played some text tag with Kisa von Teasa, and finally decided we were too tired to be functional or sociable and ended up at IHOP, this would prove to be a wonderful find for later evenings in the weekend.

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Photos from the drive and around Charleston on Friday

Day 2, Friday, June 8
B and I woke up super early (okay, 8am, not that early, but well before burlesque standard time) so we could wander into Charleston, SC to take in some sights.  We parked at the battery and then walked around down town checking out the sites.  We'd been to Charleston before so it was nice to just wander around and admire the architecture and hunt for food.  Pretty much all of my travel is based on following my tummy to new and exotic places, it's how I maintain my girlish figure.  We had found some touristy brochures in the hotel lobby and one of them came with a $5 off coupon so we went to the Noisy Oyster to redeem our coupon. We started with She-Crab Soup.  It was very flashy, the bowl comes out with a mound of crab in the middle of the bowl, they pour the soup around it and then add the Sherry at the table.  Though tasty, was not as scrumptious as the hype would have us believe.  We then had the Crab Cake Fried Green Tomato Tower.  Though is sounded amazing, it left something to be desired.  Had they been a bit more generous with the sauce it would have been better.  We then split Shrimp and Grits which was very tasty as it also have sausage and other yummy bits in it!  We then walked back to the car and headed for Folly Beach.  We stripped down to swimsuits and dove in.  Seriously, I always love some down time at a beach and with my 110 Sunblock I was not afraid!  We spent a few hours there before heading back downtown to find dinner.

A few years ago we had wandered into a restaurant that we remembered to be amazing and we were determined to find it.  We drove around in circles for about an hour to first find the place and then to find parking.  The restaurant was Toast.  It still existed and was everything we remembered it to be!  They had a Bacon Bloody Mary! As if that wasn't enough as those are two great tastes that tasted like heaven together we had amazing food as well.  We had swordfish skewers, the MOST AMAZING SHE-CRAB SOUP EVER!  And an amazing crab cake sandwich with a roumalade mayo that was to die for.   And with a seriously happy tummy it was time to go get ready to see some awesome burlesque!

So the producers of the festival, Selia de'Katzmeow and Dolly Dee, were smart and had the host hotel less then 2 miles from the venue along with a shuttle service provided by the hotel so people could get back and forth.  What we didn't count on was that Army Wives decided to film ACROSS THE STREET!  So the blocked the entire road and we couldn't get to the parking lot or the venue.  We ended up parking a few blocks away and walking but all the circling and back tracking made us late.  These ladies do not mess around, their show started on time so an hour late meant we missed the entire first half of the show.  Apparently we walking in immediately after Atlanta performer Sunny Midnight got off stage.  I was super sad to miss the first half of the show, but was very impressed with what a tight ship they were running.  Sadly my pics are only of the second half, however, it was an amazing second half!  Marc Slomski was an amazing MC for the festival and with my "homies" Fonda Lingue, Lola LeSoleil, Talloolah Love and Kisa von Teasa in the second half I was super excited that I didn't miss everyone that I know.  I also managed to catch both of Burlesque Legend Gabriella Maze's performances along with a bunch of performers I had never gotten to see before which was wonderful.  After we went to DIG, which was lame as they had crap service and messed up orders and bills, however, please enjoy the photos from the show!

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Photos from Friday's Celabra-TEASE Showcase

Day 3, Saturday, June 9th SHOW DAY!
After a night of burlesque, nachos and booze I slept in.  Not intentionally, but as I meant to take only one Tylenol PM and I am pretty sure I took two by mistake, I was unable to be woken until around 11/noonish.  At this point I wander down stairs to go smoke and find B and Lola LeSoleil downstairs chatting.  It is decided that food sounds amazing so we go back to Toast because my life is just better with Bacon Bloody Marys.  Once we were done with brunch we came back to the hotel so we could all take a much needed nap.  B and I chose to sleep in front of the TV in our hotel while Lola put on her super cute yellow bikini and napped by the pool in true vaca style!

I got to the venue at 6pm per my call time and did a quick walk through on the stage in my shoes to check for any gaps or weird spots on the stage.  It seemed good to go and so was I!  Sound guy, lighting guy, etc... were all there to ask/answer any questions, the whole experience was super professional and so easy.  B was kind enough to run to the liquor store and pick up some rum so I could have a drink before the show.  I had my two drink maximum before the show even started and as I was 10 slots in I was able to take a few pics before my performance and then a few after.  The show over all was pretty amazing!  So many amazing performers both on and off stage.  Seriously, everyone was super nice and just wonderful back stage.  You couldn't ask for a nicer group of people to be back stage with.  I took a few back stage and then as much as I could of the show.  So sorry I couldn't take more but, ya know, I was performing too, lol.  However, I have to say one of my highlights for the evening didn't even happen on stage, Violet Vixen and I were back stage admiring all the purple costumes.  Iris Le'Mour actually offered to let us roll around naked on her big purple costume!  Seriously, made my night!

And the winners are:

Queen: Donna Denise
King and Most Humerous: Paco Fish
Most Classic: Smokin' McQueen
Most Original: Marla Meringue
Best Variety/Sideshow: EmpeRoar Fabulous
Sweetest Tease: Ida Claire
Producer's Choice: Iris Le'Mour

Myself, B, Sunny Midnight, Bourgeois Betty and our new friend Red Herring ended up at the magical IHOP! (Told ya finding an IHOP would help)

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Photos from the Saturday Sweet Tease Pageant 

Day 4, Sunday, June 10th
We wake up and scramble to pack everything up so we can be out of the hotel by check-out at noon.  We headed over to The Mill to grab brunch and say our goodbyes.  It was wonderful to see everyone and get to spend the weekend with so many amazing performers from all over the world.  We drove home exhausted, but happy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012-06-05 Burlesque History and Beginning Movement with Katherine Lashe

So on June 5 we began Syrens of the South's 8th class series at Spinarella Pole/Dance/Fitness.  Hard to believe that on August 24th, we'll be celebrating our 5 year anniversary and our 8th student showcase, where has the time gone.  Anyway, we had 4 lovely ladies come into the class a little nervous, a little unsure but very eager to to discover the shiny world of burlesque.

As this was the first class we did introductions, I told them who I was, made sure no one had any injuries that I needed to be aware of, and then I asked the question I always ask on the first day, "What made you want to take burlesque classes?" There's always the joking comment about shiny things and then the nervous laughter that comes before people get to the root of it.  People get into burlesque for different reasons, because they love to perform, because they like shiny things, they saw a show and it looked like fun and then the one that breaks my heart every time, "I want to be more comfortable in my skin because I think I'm fat/ugly/unsexy/need to get out of my shell/etc..."  These are the ones that make me cry a little when they make it onto stage as they're trying to work through something much deeper then a need to be shiny.  Many times our students turn into performers, we've even had quite a few go on to the national festival circuit and even earn awards.  Let me tell you, nothing makes me feel more like a proud momma then seeing my students continue performing and earn national recognition!

I love teaching history and going over the intro to basic burlesque movement.  Burlesque's history goes back so much further then most people think.  My class starts at 44BC and goes through modern day.  Yup, BC, you read correctly.  The basic movement we go through is bumps, grinds, and some basic shimmies and then we put them all together in a little mini routine to work on transitions and movement, each one ending with the front bump because EVERYONE SHOULD EMBRACE THE FRONT BUMP!  They did a great job and I can't wait to have them come back next week so we can continue down this path together.