Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011-01-28 Va-Va Voom

Mon Cherie Presents hosted it's bi monthly Va-Va Voom night at The Shelter on  Friday, January 28th.  Mon Cherie's known for hosting amazing parties; from her Rockabilly Lounges, Chamber Reunion fetish themed nights and burlesque themed Va-Va Voom nights; she always knows how to bring something special to a typical club night and leave the audience wanting more and dying to know when the next event will be.  With an amazing raffle with prizes donated from Lux de Ville, Loki Shane at Sacred Heart Tattoo L5P, Jezebel Blue,  HellKat Designs, and hand made pasties by Mon Cherie herself, I honestly think people come for the prizes just as much as they come for the show!

There were two burlesque sets hosted by the mouth of the south Miss Mason, the first included an amazing light up hula hoop striptease by Rebecca DeShon, Winter Wonderland with a snow queen so hot she'd make you melt by Kittie Katrina,  a sultry strip tease by Catatonic Raucous, some red hot Double Ds of Dixie action by the Rockabilly Queen D'lilah D'lite, and an audience participation lapdance by CoCo DuPree.  Between sets DJ Jennocide spun her little heart out keeping the patrons rocking out on the dance floor, putting on their own show as it were.

The second set opened with Jazzine singing to her man, then an beautiful and graceful fan dance by Gesche Anneliesa, after that came a shiney and stimulating striptease by Evil Sarah, before a rockabilly shimmy and shake by Kittie Katrina for her second act of the night, and closing out the evening was the Hour Glass and a Half Tupelo Honey shaking her demon self and making the boys want to go down in flames with her!

The battery on my camera died so I wasn't able to take any pictures, below are pictures by other photographers from Va-Va Voom:

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011-02-04 RIP Tura Satana

Tura Satana, star of 1965 Russ Meyer movie Faster Pussy, Cat! Kill! Kill! and Burlesque Legend passed away on Friday, February 4, 2011, at 5pm PST in Reno.  She was 72 years old.  It was covered in the LA Times.

I was lucky enough to get to meet Tura the first year I went to the Burlesque Hall of Fame back in 2007.  She was an amazing woman who lead a fascinating life and had so much information to pass on to the next generation of burlesque performers. As many of you know I have been playing 20 Questions with some of the Burlesque Legends that have been willing to help out for my Burlesque History class.  She was one of the first Legends to be willing to respond to my request and I thought in honor of her life I would share her interview with the world.  I am so grateful I was able to do this interview with her.

Legend Interview with Tura Satana – June 26, 2008

Tura Satana, Miss Japan Beautiful

2.Where are you from?
Hokkaido, Japan

3. When did you perform?
From 1954 through 1978

4. Where did you perform?
All over the world, but mostly the U.S.A., on the burlesque circuit for about 15 yrs then in nightclubs and various supper clubs around the world.

5. Stage Name
Originally it was Devilon Satana, then I decided to use my real name, Tura Satana.

6. How did you get your stage name?
My agent decided that he liked my real name better and so did Elvis.

7. How were you discovered or how did you end up in burlesque?

Actually, I started out as a legitimate dancer in the Tropicana Club in Hollywood, Ca. One night one of the acts did show up and the boss Turk Prujan decided that I was his new dance star. I told him that I had never danced in front of an audience before and he said that he saw me dancing on the floor with a customer on night and knew that i could do it, so I did. I just did what the music made me feel and brought the house down.

8. What did you love most about being a burlesque performer?

the contact and rapport that I had with my audiences. I always made the want to come back and see me and watch me play with them. The audiences loved to watch the tassels go round and round.

9. Who inspired or taught you?
No one. I basically taught myself, but my mentor in burlesque as a lovely lady called Stunning Smith, the lady with the purple hair. She was the first one who told me that when I am out there on that stage, that all eyes are on me and that I was to keep them there. I did and she also told me that when I am on that stage, that I OWN IT SO USE IT. Remember that you have an audience all around you, not just in front of me.

10. What was your signature act or move?

My drum solo. It could last anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes and that I never lost a patron no matter how long it lasted, then I would die in the end.

11. What do you feel was your greatest accomplishment as a performer
When I became one of The 10 best undressed women of the 20th Century.

12. What was your favorite scandal (such as the under boob fiasco, etc… we’re not looking for rumors or trash talking other performs) that you were involved in?
Oh that is easy. When I first went work in Canada, I was told that I would have to sew my net bra together to cover my cleavage. I look at the official and at my breasts.
Are you kidding me? There is no way that I can cover all of this cleavage and how am I supposed to twirl my tassels? He looked at me and my bra, my boobs, my tassels and said ..Well you are going to have to try and something with them? I told him, why don't i just do one show with and one show without and you tell me if I am offensive in what I do on stage. So he stuck around for the first show which was a disaster looking to happen. My bra strap broke and came off, which brought the house down and the curtain. The next show he let me do my thing and I passed with flying colors. After that, the gals who didn't fondle themselves could get away with no bra.

13. …that you’d heard about?
Rumors that were spread about me by another performer. People found out they weren't true and joined me.

14. What was your most amusing costume malfunction and how did you deal with it?

It was the one in Canada with the bra, but the other was when one of my tassels kept flying off my right breast. No way could I get it to stick on. Finally, I just put it on my nose and walked off stage to standing ovation.

15. What was your favorite press clipping or headline?

It was a headline in the Honolulu Advertiser and read., LOCAL GAL MAKES GOOD. TURA SATANA STARS IN FPKK. I was not a local gal butt the Hawaiians had adopted me and loved me, so I was a local gal.

16. What do you feel was your biggest challenge as a performer?

Over coming racial prejudice. When I first started dancing, I was the only Japanes stripper around. There was no other, not even the Chinese gals were build like me and I carried a couple with me in my shows. I was unique and I was talented in the fact that I could hold my Audience.

17. What do you feel is the biggest challenge for burlesque performers today?

They have to stop limiting themselves and make sure that they acknowledge their audiences. If they can't keep their audience happy and entertained, they will lose them. Once you lose them, you can't get them back unless you do something really outrageous and that can get you arrested.

18. What was your most memorable moment in your burlesque career?

My first show in a burlesque theater in St. Louis Mo. After my first performance, Mr. Eddie Foy Jr. Walked down the aisle with 2 dozen long stem red roses as a tribute to my first performance and a memorable show. He loved all the acrobatics that I did in my routine.

19. Do you have a story you would like to share?

All I can say is that burlesque is like a family. At least, when I started to dance whe had chorus lines, Parade girls, house singers, top and second bananas (comics), beautifully groomed and
outfitted females walk out of that stage and stun the audiences with their talent. No screwing curtains, no riding poles, no writhing on the floors. They walked with elegance, they exuded sensual glamour and teased the audience. They knew that the emphasis was and is on the tease part, like when Lily St. Cyr worked, she teased and tantalized. Each of us has it in us to do this. Class is Class and there is no substitute.

20. What advice would you like to give neo-burlesque performers?

Just what I said above. learn your stage, acknowledge your audience and tease them with allure and class. Choose costumes that you know are appealing on you. My cheapest costume back in the 50's cost me $1800., but it got me the recognition that I wanted.

I hope that I have answered your questions and that they will help other performers to enhance and grown.

Tura Satana

To the right is a picture I took of Tura Satana and Renea'le Roux in Vegas back in 2007.  When Tura first met Renea she walked up to her and informed Renea that she looked like her.  She was an amazing woman who will be missed and the rhinestones will shine a little less brightly with without her around.

2011-01-15 Blast-Off Burlesque Holidazed and Confused

Blast-Off Burlesque has been voted the Best Burlesque Troupe in Atlanta for the past two years and there's no question of why with their innovative and original ideas and takes on everyday things, Holidazed & Confused proved to be a continuation of their genius!  Going through the calendar and celebrating all of their favorite famous and some rather obscure holidays made you want to celebrate with them all year long!

They kicked off the show in traditional Blast-Off style with a group number celebrating Christmas with a very pregnant Mary trying to give birth with assistance of Joseph, the Wise men, some farm animals and an Angel.  The result of their efforts was a beach ball that turned the whole scene into 1950s style bathing beauty number with synchronized beach balls for everyone!  With this sacrilegious start the show only got better and weirder from there!

Hosted by Jon Waterhouse as Rip Taylor flinging confetti and doing introductions with bad puns and props, he is always an amazing host for these shows, letting himself be fully immersed in the characters he portrays.  With guests to the show including Jim Stacy as Stilt-walking Sam representing all of the patriotic major sale holidays who popped out at seemingly random intervals, much like the holidays he represented.  Other guests included Talloolah Love doing her tribute to Bastille Day complete with French Flag and working guillotine created by Bart Webb Studios that she used to chop off the head of her oppressor before doing some aerial work on the bar at the top of her death device.   Then came The Chien Hong Liondance Troop, who did an amazing Dragon Dance to kick off the celebration of Chinese New Year with the always amazing Chinita La Chou Chou.  The Chameleon Queen did an amazing tribute to Rubber Duckie Day as her newest character, Amaretto Sourpuss, to swan lake.  Their final guest was May Delight who sang a salute to the guy's answer to Valentine's Day, March 14th also known as Steak and Blowjob Day!

Some of my favorite Blast-Off acts included a brilliant tribute to Halloween by Mysteria.  She went from a Charlie Brown Ghost, to Pumpkin Head, a witch, and then a sexy cat!  The shedding of all the many layers of different costumes to an amazing mash up of different music was truly ingenious.  Such a simple idea but executed so brilliantly you couldn't help but enjoy yourself.   Dickie van Dyke's celebration of Valentine's Day Freddie Mercury style continued the tradition of Dickie being a fantasy that works for everyone regardless of sexual preference.  The show ended to Blast-Off Burlesque coming out to take their bows to "Calendar Girl" as the months flew by on the video screen behind them.  As the last performer took their bow, the calendar reached Dec 21, 2012 and the end of the world ensued in a video montage of angels, demons, space aliens, and Blast-Off partying like there's no tomorrow.  Once the video dust had cleared, out came the performers covered in leaves to restart the human race through dance!  It was an amazing way to end the show and once again proved that the amazingness that is Blast-Off Burlesque knows no bounds!

I took over 2,000 photos and got them narrowed down to around 1,300 after I weeded out some not so great ones.  So I hope you enjoy the photos and make sure to catch the next Blast-Off Burlesque Show and buy your tickets early as they always sell out.

2010-01-14 Search for the Golden Sprocket

On January 14th The Extraordinary Contraptions, Thimblerig Circus, Tupelo Honey, Doctor Q and Talloolah Love via video came together under Rusty Gears Productions to create the Search for the Golden Sprocket at The Shelter.

When I walked in there were Steampunk clad enthusiasts were scattered about the bar with rapped attention to the stage.  The Extraordinary Contraptions were playing some of their new songs while a video of  Talloolah Love doing a silent Burlesque Cooking Show played on the televisions.  The music continued as she got drunk with sampling her ingredients and slowly shed her clothing through out the cookie baking process.  It was a cute, cheeky way to fill some video with her expressive face and comedic timing.  A break between the band's sets brought  Doctor Q playing an assortment of music while they cleared the way for Tupelo Honey to perform and captivate the audience!  Decked in red she performed to Blair Crimmon's "A Demon Like Me" and wowed the audience with her butt spanking strut!  Then came a PSA for pirate gunshot insurance before the band's second set.

During the band's second set the next video graced the screen. Done in silent movie style staring Tupelo Honey as the daughter of a vicious pirate who buried a treasure and tattooed the map on her back as a child.  Now an adult, she was dressed as a harem girl being chased by a villain who wished to steal the treasure.  With batting eyelashes and skulking capes and tops hats it really captured the old 1920s feel.  Then came the video premiere of The Extraordinary Plushies,  puppet versions of The Extraordinary Contraptions, flying around on their blimp and their misadventures!

Overall I would say that the night was a success for all involved.  It was a good show, some really innovative ideas as far as set up and definitely something different to do on a Friday night. Below are my photos from the event, they are of Tupelo Honey's act as I wasn't feeling super great so that's pretty much all I felt up to shooting, enjoy!