1. Burlesque Duos
We had an another amazing year with Burlesque Duos! A sold out show and the pairings were so fun!! I had a blast working with Vixen Von Flex! Big thanks to Connie Cahoots, Bunny, Diva Fandango, Ariel Helvetica, Camaro Luvroc, Clare Voyeur, Nicky Ninedoors, Miss Kiss, Sister Vigilante, Moonlit Moanah, and Tallulah Lee! Don’t miss this year’s edition happening once again at the Rio Theatre on February 14th!
I got to travel to neighboring cities Victoria and Whistler to headline early in the year! Headlining the Purrlesque event at the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival was a total blast! Loved getting to boogie down with DJ Foxy Moron and getting to relax in the hot tub! I was honored to headline once again with Keith Sonic productions for The Burlesque Bonanza! The Victoria Burlesque scene feels like my home away from home and as usual I had a blast performing there!!
3. Fou Ha Ha
In the beginning of April, The Razzle Tassel Tease Show got to open for San Francisco’s legendary clown troupe Fou Ha Ha at the magnificent Rio Theatre! I was pleased as punch not only get to perform on the same bill as these amazing performers but to see their production! It was so inspiring and one of the best shows I’ve ever seen!
4. Munich Burlesque Festival
We had been working our chicken butts off to get there but we finally made it and we were a hit! I was lucky enough to travel with The Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society all the way to Munich Germany for The Munich Burlesque Festival. We were given the Friday night slot to do a full length burlesque production. We brought the weird and our Barvarian audience loved it! We had a great time!!!
Itty Bitty Burlesque Festival
My first headlining festival!! I was so honored and excited!!! Alongside Cherry Ontop, Voracious V and Betsy Bottom Dollar, I was one of the headliners for The Itty Bitty Burlesque Festival in Quesnel BC. Quesnel is actually my hometown so it felt great to be on the Occidental stage sharing my love of burlesque with all the great performers from Quesnel and BC.
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival
I was also a feature performer this year at The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival! The VIBF is one of my favorite events of the year and has been since I first started performing almost 10 years ago! I was thrilled to be a feature and I loved performing at The Playhouse! What a great venue!! I also was pleasantly surprised to be awarded Three Buffies in the awards ceremony for "WTF, Rubberface, and Congeniality"
The ABC Double D’s of Burlesque Kickstarter Campaign, Book & Production
One of the biggest acheivements of my career has been The ABC Double D’s of Burlesque! Together with Bashar Sawalha, we raised over $10, 000 towards the printing of our coffee table book-The ABC Double D’s of Burlesque. We created stickers, silkscreen prints, garter belts, postcard coloring books and even an entire stage production for our Kickstarter campaign. I learnt so much and am so grateful to all our of contributors for believing in our dream. The production was held in November and is one of my greatest works. We are forever greatful to the cast of Gastown Cabaret for their efforts in making this such an amazing experience! We hope to remount it in 2017 so be sure to keep an ear out for info! If you would like to purchase a copy of The ABC Double D’s of Burlesque, please visit www.freshmeatpub.com
Burlesque Hall of Fame
I love making the pilgrimage to The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas! A chance to be inspired and see old friends!! This year was extra special as I got to be part of Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society’s entry for Best Group! This piece meant alot to me as it was one of the first I had ever collaborated on and performed with SCTS almost 10 years ago! We thought that the act stood the test of time and reworked it to include over 25 performers!! Turns out we were right and we won “Best Group” and “Most Comedic” in the competition! It was such a great feeling to share that excitement and joy with my Screaming Chicken family! I will treasure that moment forever!
Minneapolis Burlesque Festival
This was such a great year for me! I was asked to feature at the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival as a performer and a teacher! I was so excited to feature in the United States! I even got together with my pal Mr. Gorgeous from New York (Mr. Exotic World 2014, Most Comedic 2013) to create a duo work to debut at the festival! I had a great time, made amazing friends, and would definitely recommend this festival to any performer!!
This October marked our two year anniversary as a group at Guilt & Co. I am so proud of this show and our cast! We make magic every second Tuesday of the month and I truly believe this is one of the greatest productions I have ever been part of! Our “One Other Year Pizza Party” was a ridiculous, fun celebration of all that we have done and are as performers. Looking forward to many more years with this collective of crazy cabaret artists.
UPCOMING! BIG NEWS FOR 2017!!
SO.. This is my official announcement! I will be traveling to Romania at the end of January to perform on the television show iUmor! Similar to X Factor type of shows around the world, iUmor features humorous and astounding variety acts from across the globe. I’m very excited to perform on Romanian television :)
Although it hasn’t been released to the public.. yet... 20/30 friends was another exciting goal that I am beyond excited about! This is the result of a grant I received from the Vancouver Arts Foundation and is a series of video sketches about the friendship between Vixen Von Flex and I! We will be applying to the Just for Laughs Comedy Short Shorts Festival in January so fingers crossed our big debut will be on the big screen at the Rio!
1. InspirationPhoto by Pin-Upz and Burlesque
I don’t know if you are aware, but you are creative. You are an artist even! Maybe you are lacking the audacity to name yourself as a creative, but let me tell you something, you can Burlesque! We can help you! Presenting itself to you, at this very moment, is an opportunity to create something. Opportunity equals inspiration and inspiration feels so good!
2. Challenges!Photo by Heather Vince
Now this opportunity is going to challenge you in a lot of different ways. Exciting! Burlesque is extremely self directed which means you are responsible for your entire product; you are the visionary behind it all! You will be the director, the story teller, the dancer, the choreographer, and the costumer. Its up to you and even if you are great at some of it, you might not be as strong at all of it. Here is where you have more opportunity to develop skills you might not have otherwise. Rise up! Challenges can be fun.
3. Creative ControlPhoto by Pin Up Perfection Photography
It's yours. You can have as little or as much help as you want or need. Guidance is available and is recommended, however, this is your baby! In other performance art, you are often the vessel for other people’s work. You dance the choreographers vision- you act the writers story, you play it all out as long as the director approves. But Burlesque? This is all you baby!
4. Coming To Terms With Your BodyPhoto by Drew May Photography
“I could never be naked in front of people!!!?” Why not? What is so wrong with your naked body? We all have ideas about who can be naked and if you really really really think about it, they don’t necessarily make any sense. Where did those ideas came from and who benefits from you thinking this way? If you do the unthinkable, you’ll be one step closer to freedom from those ideas. What other things can you do that you didn’t think you could do?
5. Everybody's Body!Photo by April O'Peel
When you are ok with your body, you are helping other people be ok with their bodies. Its that part about being the change you wish to see in the world. It's actually that easy.
6. Doing The Unthinkable Makes You Think!Photo by Frankie Panky
Maybe the reason you can’t be naked is because you think that people who dance naked are “bad.” But if you dance naked, and you aren’t “bad”, maybe they aren’t “bad” either. Does association with nudity and sex really make someone “bad?”
7. I am Woman! See me Create! See me have Power! Photo by Alex Waber Photography
This art form is dominated by women creating, performing and producing. Not so long ago, women in most creative forms were discouraged from particpating. Check out THIS rejection letter from Disney from the 40s.
Women need art just as much as art needs women because its important that everyone’s story be told. Burlesque is one way to tell women’s stories and Burlesque allows women to share what they think is sexy, funny, glamourous, and exciting.
8. You Sexy Thang! Photo by Tina Limu
Have you always wanted to be sexy? Did you already know that you are? Here is an opportunity and a medium for you to express that. Don’t be shy- explore, play, feel safe. Your audience will love you for it.
9. You are Hilarious! Photo by Greg McKinnon
Have you ever wanted to be funny? Have you always been? Are you interested to being part of new genre of comedy? One that is being propelled by women? Burlesque+Comedy=Awesome!!
10. We can Change the Culture of Dance! Photo by Wedo Photo
Dancing is important for community and for people to express themselves. Dancing feeds the soul. Currently, performance by dancing in Western culture isn’t very accessible. High class art is considered "high", because it isn’t financially accessible for all classes of people. Only those who can afford lessons and extensive training from a very young age might be able to make it as a dancer. The other commonality we hear is that dancing is for thin women only. If you do not fit this mold, forget about it. You can/will never be enough and more likely than not, you will be too much. Perpetuating a standard of exclusion where only certain styles of dance and bodies are valuable doesn’t help anyone. Burlesque calls bullshit. Burlesque lets everyone play. Burlesque doesn’t give a hoot about what body shape you have or your background, just that your audience is entertained.
11. Variety is the Spice of Life Photo by Sparkle Plenty
Humans are diverse. There IS room for everyone and Burlesque encompasses this. You can take your background and talents and meld them into the form to create something uniquely you. There is a common denominator (which is striptease) but other than that? There is no right way. And unique you makes our community that much richer!! Join us won’t you!?
Our next session of Becoming Burlesque starts Sept 18th! Email Melody Mangler today at firstname.lastname@example.org and get started on your Burlesque journey!! More info HERE
I always hope for myself to feel challenged, inspired and to be achieving new heights with each new year. Reflecting back on 2012, I am proud to say that I feel happy with what I have attempted, achieved, and accomplished. The following lists my top 10 favorite April O’Peel moments of 2012 in chronological order.
1. The Pink Unicorn Cabaret
Attempting to try and fill a void in our community, myself and Violet Femme took on the task of producing a monthly drag and burlesque cabaret entitled the Pink Unicorn Cabaret. We wanted so badly to bridge the two communities and feature more theatrical performers from the Vancouver Burlesque community. Sadly, our show was short lived; unable to draw an audience after only hosting 3 shows. I learnt a lot about what I felt I needed to be a successful producer from this experience and as those who were there know, the shows were some of the weirdest and wildest MOST unicorn filled productions of enchantment I have ever been part of. Thanks to everyone who performed and attended! Maybe Vancouver will be ready for us another day...
2. Dirty Dancing
Our second helping of Dirty Dancing was held at East Van’s favorite entertainment destination, the Rio Theatre. I was more than thrilled to team up again with Blue Morris to curate an unforgettable tribute to everyone’s favorite 80s movie, Dirty Dancing. Highlights for me include our finale act with Ruthe Ordare and myself as Double Babys with the stunning Lola Frost playing our Johnny. Oh behave! I wish I could see this on video somewhere!
3. Vancouver Burlesque Festival
As a member of the 2012 Vancouver International Burlesque Festival’s Board of Directors, this year’s festival held a special place in my heart. I was a novice board member and had lived daily the immense pressure and responsibility of helping host such a large scale event for the year leading up to the festival. I was so happy to see it a success and all of my friends, peers and colleagues so full of happiness and love. I was especially proud too see the growth of my fellow performers as they pulled out all the stops to put on an absolutely spectacular festival. The culmination of so much combined effort was such a beautiful thing to be a part of. I also had the pleasure of performing once again at the majestic Vogue Theatre with both Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society and as a soloist. I could get used to that..
Photo by Derek Jackson
4. The Burlesque Hall of Fame
This was one off the bucket list folks! I had been chosen to compete in the Best Debut category as a soloist and with Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society for Best Group. I was proud of both acts as I felt they both displayed some of my best conceptual work. I was very proud of the Chickens for all the hard work they put into our act and for their stellar performance. My solo performance for Best Debut actually ended up being named “Most Comedic” overall! My weird and wacky rubber glove dress and Chicken routine earned me a place in BHOF history and I was even called out at the legend’s panel as a great example of Neo-Burlesque. I swear that I died and went straight to heaven! This weekend was definitely the brightest highlight of my career to date.
5. Neil E Dee's Danger Thrill Show
This year, I continued on as a feature performer with Neil E Dee’s Danger Thrill show. The fun never ended with a tour to Kamloops and Prince George, guest starring at Bizarriety and opening the show for world reknowned stuntmen, Hellzapoppin. I’m looking forward to working more with the wild and crazy Neil E Dee and his band of merry misfits this next coming year.
6. Tatas and Tiaras
When Madam Mae I approached me with the idea of co-producing a show spoofing the cult reality series Toddlers and Tiaras, I jumped at the chance to truly “burlesque!” Our event saw 10 contestants vie for titles like Ultimate Grand Champion Supreme of Beauty, Biggest Hair and Scariest Pageant Mom with a beauty walk, talent portion and personal interview. I was happy to host these terrific and talented non-toddlers and the show was in my mind the perfect combo of theatre, burlesque, and improv. What fun!!
7. Buxom Burlesque Revue
This summer saw my first ever headlining gig where they actually flew me (in a plane! a real flying plane) to the location. Way to make me feel cool guys! I couldn’t believe it! However, upon meeting Calgary’s very own Raven Virginia and the rest of the Garter Girls, it made so much sense! Here were the people who were inspired by me.. and who in return inspired me! It felt like I had met my long lost family at Tassel Castle and had a great time performing and teaching. I ALSO WENT TO THE ZOO! WHEE!!
8. Burlesque Assassins
This summer I also had the privilege of performing at the world premier of Burlesque Assassins with the ever loverly Lola Frost and Melody Mangler. I felt so honored to be asked and I had a blast watching this great film. Make sure to look for your chance to watch some of Neo- Burlesque’s best on a big screen. I was so inspired by Jonathan Joffe and his crew and so happy to see a feature length film featuring Burlesque the way I know and like it! The dance sequences look fantastic on film and Canada’s Queen of Burlesque, Roxi Dlite, was too funny! Great job guys!
9. Burlesque Long Form
Burlesque Long Form felt like the culmination of everything I have learnt about producing and performing all at once. An artistic challenge to myself and five of my favorite Burlesque peers, I asked if we would be able to create and perform a ten minute act and be entertaining the entire duration. The night was a smash success and I consider this one of my biggest and best burly achievements to date.
10. Nouveaux Tableaux
I had been blathering about this FOREVER! At last my vision finally found it’s legs, opening for the the Van Doll’s production of Paint and Pasties- the perfect venue! I had the idea to recreate Tableaux Vivants of classical paintings featuring nude women about 3 years ago after doing research on Burlesque history. It was a huge undertaking that I couldn’t do alone! Enter Via Rose and Morgan Bartlett who were equally as passionate about the project. Thanks to Morgan’s tireless efforts recreating the background of Rapheal’s Three Graces, and accompanied to live classical music curated and played by Miss Via Rose we were by all accounts able to host a tasteful showing of all that is feminine beauty. Many thanks to Villiany Loveless and Ruthe Ordare for showcasing their loveliness for our project.
10. 5 All My New Acts
This year I had a great time performing my greatest hits; Unicorn, Mime, Chicken, Jungle Hair, Crazy Cat Lady, Scarves, Kraken and my Leopard Bump and Grind. I was also happy to realize that I managed to add another 7 acts to the keeper pile! I’m happy to welcome to my repertoire- Leda and the swan, Batman, Lumberjack, Hamburglar, Ninja Turtle, Napoleon, and the Gone Baby Gone.
If anyone ever asks me about trying a new style and being concerned about their branding, I can’t ever tell them to stick to what they know. Maybe its better from a marketing standpoint but I think if what you represent is quality then you shouldn’t bar yourself from trying anything! I have had a very rewarding career thanks to my willingness to try everything and anything that I haven’t already. It brings me a lot of joy to succeed at things I didn’t know I could be good at- and has been the BEST way for me to learn.
This being said, I hadn’t done a fan dance. This, ladies and gentlemen, was my first! The largest barrier to this being that fans are usually quite costly so this became a project that would have to be something I waited and saved and worked towards. I am happy to say that I am so proud of what I have created and it was so fulfilling to see those months and months of dreams and ideas come together.
This act came to be because I think its tres hilarious that I want every bird to be my hat. BE MY HAT!! Obviously your feathers aren’t for flying.. no no.. they are for my hat. I worked up from this concept that I could create an act around feather theft. My dreams coming true.
I was also inspired by several iconic photos I had found in my research of Lily St Cyr and her Leda and the Swan act. Apparently this was a very popular type of act! I found pictures of Sally Rand, Rose La Rose and Faith Arlen all performing their version of Leda and the Swan. The story of Leda and the Swan have been a very popular means for inspiration in Burlesque and other art for years and years! It is a greek myth that tells the tale of Zeus seducing Leda in the form of a Swan. There are so many classical paintings of this story! Apparently this is because in the 16th century it was, confusingly, more socially acceptable to show a woman copulating with a swan than with a man. Ok then..
This piece has also been inspired by watching the legendary Kitten Deville work her magic with her fans (thanks youtube)! There is definitely something to be said about not having heavy, giant staves; you get to be much wilder with your movements! This relates better to what my vision of “sexy” is. I prefer to feel untamed but I do hope that by showcasing my dance background, the piece still had a certain amount of grace.
This piece was performed at Burlesque Long Form- My first go at producing a large scale event by myself. I was so happy with the turnout and people, let me tell you- you get what you pay for! Hiring the city’s best, whom I could trust implicitly to create something magical, was the best decision I could have made. This show came to be because I was so impressed watching Dita Von Teese and her accompanying acts Angie Pontani and Ava Garter during their tour in Seattle some years back. I was really impressed that they only needed 4 people (including awesome host Murray Hill) to put on a killer show. The idea of doing a 10 minute act seemed absolutely impossible to me at the time but I never forgot about their ability to entertain for an entire 10 minutes.
This act went really well in my mind for a first showing on stage. There are a few snafus (stupid leg ribbon of stupidness), but overall I am very pleased with the concept and execution. I was even happy with how I recovered from the issues that arose on stage. I feel (hope!) that I have managed to combine classic with comedy to create something uniquely April. I am in the process of editing the number to be under 4 minutes but in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy my version of Leda and the Swan. :)
This number evolved out of my desire to somehow, someway, find a new and exciting way to use Isis Wings. Isis Wings are basically a giant cape traditionally used by belly dancers, with secret sticks so that you can raise said giant cape high above your head thusly becoming majestic. I couldn’t find a real definition of Isis Wings so yep... that is your April Webster definition. Giant cape, secret sticks, MAJESTY!! I hadn’t seen a number that used Isis wings as a giant cape so I figured this was great place to start for inspiration. This lead me to thinking.. Who is the best cape-wearer? The answer was clear- BATMAN!!! Challenges for this number were trying to fit all of my reveals into 2 minutes! Can you say high-energy?? I can also let you know that the skinnier the stick, the better. There was an exceptionally hilarious dress rehearsal involving fatter sticks, and lets just say... bigger was not better this time around. I think this number works because it draws a positive emotional response from an audience thanks to Batman being a beloved icon. The tempo of the theme song immediately has people feeling excited and Isis wings are a great gimmick. I would love to rework this someday to be abit longer so its not quite as stressful getting out of that darn bodysuit but its still quite fun for now. Check out my version of Batman HERE
_As I’ve mentioned before, my personal challenge this year, beyond trying to feel more comfortable in my own sensuality, has been to try to successfully marry the erotic and the inane. I’m very proud of this act because I think it is the closest I’ve come to achieving both past influences and a fusion of other talents.
At this point I had been doing research about comedians from the early 20th century. I was hoping to learn enough that I could maybe teach a 4 part workshop on them. Interesting for me to learn probably means its interesting enough for other people, right? It was then that I stumbled on THIS clip from Charlie Chaplin’s, “The Great Dictator.” I couldn’t believe it! This, in my mind, is the absolute GREATEST PIECE OF COMEDY EVER!!! You have to watch it to believe.
Thanks to this gem, I realized that I haven’t seen any BQ comedy done with a ballon act and thought it would be a good challenge. So what could a balloon be if not a ballon? An egg? YES! Chicken time!!! Homage to my home sweet home with the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society. While we are trying to create things we haven’t seen before, how about a rubber glove dress?? YES!! I asked Melody Mangler to help with the completion of this outfit. I’ve learnt to sew, but I’ve also learnt about time management. I commissioned her to sew the outer layer and managed to do the rest on my own. HURRAH NEW SKILLS! I wanted the gloves to read as a tribute to the DIY nature of Burlesque. I’ve since added several gross of swarovskis to almost satirize the extremes of modern Burlesque costuming.
The first part of the number was to be an homage to baggy pants comedians of yesteryear. I recently learnt from Portland based performer Rusty Trombone (I LOVE HIM I LOVE HIM I LOVE HIM) that the kind of dancing I have been struggling to find out more about is called Legomania. Now we all know!!! And the second was to be about combining the eroticism and hilarity.
This act was festering in my brain for a long time and it took a long time before it was ready to perform. The main reasons being I had a concept for a costume that took awhile for me to afford and create. I’m really happy with the results and can definitely appreciate the need to sometimes take the time to create something of quality. My reward was being able to perform 6 different times for our run at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. I also felt lucky that I had the opportunity to try it out so many times and see what worked and what didn’t in front of a live audience. I am really happy that the act feels seamless. There is no boring waits (I think) Just the right amount of dance and tease, and enough comedy to break the tension of the second song. I have had some great feedback from Madame Mae I about putting a smaller yellow balloon inside my big ballon so it looks like an egg yolk that I’m excited to try- Regardless I hope you enjoy!!!
Kraken: kra·ken/ˈkräkən/Noun: An enormous mythical sea monster said to appear off the coast of Norway.
I basically hate Halloween now. My former favorite holiday has become completely tedious to me. We could possibly chalk it up to to my many hilariously bad life decisions thanks to holiday cheer but it really comes down to costumes. It used to be my only excuse to come up with the craziest, most original costume I could think of but now I live Halloween. Stripper problems. Seriously ridiculous. The thought of having to make a costume not for an act is an impossibility for me. Last year I thought maybe with alot of planning I could actually try and make a rad outfit with all the vim and vigor of my pre-burlesque self.
I was also on a giant squid kick. Can’t tell how it started- photo blogs maybe? But no one fucks with a giant squid. No one. This appeals to me. SINK ALL THE MOTHER EFFING SHIPS SQUIDY YAAAAAAAA!! Whatever- I’m weird, we know that- but I figured a giant squid dress would basically be the greatest thing to ever happen. So I planned!! I found some great inspiration pics, had been given the greatest stuffed Octopus (that was obviously a hat in disguise), bought some fabric, asked for the awesome Joanie Gyoza’s help.... there was no way I couldn’t fail!!
I did. Halloween came and passed and I just didn’t have the time to get it together slash the guilt of asking the nicest person alive to do something for me when she does so much for everyone was too much!! I dreamed of said costume but it was shelved for almost a year.
Fast forward to me having more time on my hands than usual. I TAUGHT MYSELF TO SEW!! Ok thats a lie- Melody Mangler was probably the first person to guide me (hysterically I might add) through sewing a straight line. My sister WHATSHERNAME also helped me many, many, many a time in figuring out to thread my budget machine. So when I found myself with spare time this summer, I decided I was going to practice. The most positive lesson I learnt from that experience is that you can’t be attached to the outcome of your project/art/whatever it is that you are trying. Perfection is the enemy of art sometimes because its just so paralyzing!! I just went into it without any expectations other than to try and A MIRACLE HAPPENED!! I LEARNT TO SEW!! I MADE AN AWESOME OCTOPUS DRESS!!!
After that the number just seemed to fall together. I was inspired by videos of other great performers and their rocking props/ riding their giant props. I consider myself very representative of the DIY performer. Flying that freak flag pretty high really. I don’t have the budget for anything that awesome at this point. However, if you want to be a giant squid- you need your prop to be small not big-awesome!f I harassed my love into driving me to pick up a child’s rocking horse I found on Craigslist. I borrowed a saw off of Via Rose. I returned the saw when I figured out I only needed a screwdriver. Bye Bye Rocking Horse head!!! You can see the finished prop in the vid below!
I am really proud of this number. I have been working really hard to get to a point where I can create acts that contain equal amounts of humor and striptease. I’m aiming for concepts that are epic enough that you can’t believe it happened in the first place. This number, is the closest I’ve come and I hope you enjoy it!
Oh my god I suck!!! So what do you do when you win a Blogging award? Stop blogging of course!! I was still posting regularly on ye olde Stripcheez Blog (which you should also be regularly reading!!) but I needed new vids!! Just wasn't happening!!! Slash it was a nutter schedule with the Chickens recently and I felt more tired than inspired! Its also been a year of experimentation for me. For my regular reader and fan types, it taint no surprise that I specialize in the HaHa. I can remember a Jockey number I did years back where the switch from hilarity was to Ride My Pony by Genuine and my attempts at the sexy dance and I felt sooooooooo UNCOMFORTABLE!!! I basically cut the sexy short because I wanted off the stage ASAP! Its been a great thing to be part of a larger troupe as we all work collaboratively really well so I've gotten the chance to be in some sexay group numbers!! Less pressure slash great way to learn from the pros (I'm looking at you Melody Mangler!!)! I even have evidence of our first straight up strip from the VIBF 2 years ago!! Check it HERE.
However, I have since decided I want to be good at EVERYTHING!!!!! I think it can only help my performances overall and if I am teaching, I need to be. So this year I have been pumping out the straight numbers!! I can confidently say I think I am getting better!! I can positively say that I actually have fun doing them and no longer want to flee the stage!! And I can happily say that I have some vids!!! Thanks JennyDoll for the loverly work!! Whoo!!!
Soooooo last April I was lucky enough to be asked to work with Pandora and the Locksmiths! They are a new(ish) collective of talented dancers and talented musicians who love to create Burlesque glory to live jazz!! They asked me to do an oldy but a goody, Boogie Woogie and I had free reign to do another that I thought might work to live music. I had this song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes stuck on repeat for a few weeks and I figured it would be easy enough to translate. Sometimes my numbers will come together out of availability. I will just say yes to everything that is in front of me!!! So yes Edward Sharpe. I also had just bought a wedding dress at Value Village for 20 bucks!! So yes to you available costume- yes to you. I had also just had my heart broken at the border when I wasn't able to go to the Chicago Burlesque Festival. If you missed that epic adventure of tragic learning check it HERE. I really wanted to dance out all my emo kid feelings so I came up with the concept of letting go of the ideas you are married to. Its a Buddhist idea that I try to remember when I am being the Queen of Cry, that suffering is caused by attachment to ideas- so if you let go of these attachments you can stop bothering everyone with your silent tears!! And the last combination of WTF was I thinking came from the part where I realized I hadn't done a stocking pull in about 3 years. Wow. Way to go teach... My issue with this Burlesque essential is that it doesn't necessarily look the same on me as it does on my waifier friends. Aha! A challenge!!! How can I figure out a way to do a stocking pull that would look good on my body shape!! Discovery #1 DON'T TAKE OFF YOUR GIANT DRESS!!! I thought it looked kinda pretty to see just a leg coming out of that giant puffball!!! I also discovered that you can do some alright blocking with body alignment and finding other things to hide behind aka your chair!! Basically don't be afraid to play around and see what magic you can make!!!
I recently got to perform this number again with those awesome Pandoras and awesome Locksmiths at Kitty Nights! Check it below!
Sometimes its easy!! If only that were the case every time- especially when I’m trying to be seductive! Ok so this one is probably the opposite of seductive but I had some amazing inspiration for this piece that involved musicality (yes thats a word!) and CLOWNS!!
My introduction to the wacky world of Clowns happened in a pretty interesting way. My awesome friend and contemporary VaVa Vunderbust was unable to take a gig at a local performance art festival and offered it to me. I was super happy to accept even though I didn’t really know much about performance art or the festival itself. The festival was called LIVE Biennale and I really enjoyed my experience. I got to meet some super great people and watch some very epic performances! It was super inspiring and I will definitely be attending this year’s festivities when they arrive. However one performer stood out beyond compare for me.
Her name was Savage Cream Puff and she was/is a CLOWN! This was my first introduction to the art of clowning and I was blown away! I was amazed at how she had the audience absolutely eating out of her hand!! Her actions seemed so subtle to me but they were so effective and not to mention HILARIOUS!! I learnt alot just from watching her performance and the lesson here was timing!! I discovered that its ok to drag it out if you are creating tension, suspense or expectation. And really, isn’t that what a great Burlesque number is all about!?
I also think that using the strong musical cues helped my movements and character seem stronger. Burgundy Brixx has a great blog post about musicality that you can check out HERE.
Again, I can’t embed the vid but you can check it out HERE
Thanks again to Savage Cream Puff for all the inspirings!!!
Soooo VARY EXCITING NEWSS!! Turns out I'm slightly cool? or something? Haha But this here bloggy woggy made a list of Top 40 Burlesque Blogs!! I am vary impressed with myself and thusly ate a celebration donut!! Ok.. I ate the donut before the vary exciting news but still!! EXCITING!!
Check out the rest of the list HERE- Is a great resource for all your Burlesque inspiring needs!! xox -April
My adventures in Burlesque Choreography!