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Showing posts from February, 2008

News Post: And I Love Margaret Just a Little Bit More, Again

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'Along with her identity as an Asian-America, Cho has struggled with her identity as a woman, particularly her personal struggles with eating disorders. As a young woman growing up in her family, Cho was susceptible to sexist messages that told her she had to be “small, petite, and skinny” to be beautiful. As a result, Cho developed a devastating eating disorder, and went through dramatic periods of anorexia and bulimia. After being told to lose weight while working on her television show All-American Girl, Cho starved herself for several weeks, eventually becoming hospitalized for kidney failure.

'A breakthrough for Cho came when she saw burlesque being performed for the first time. “I was so amazed when I saw the performance. There were women with all different body types, ages, races, and you could tell they were so happy and comfortable with their bodies,” she said. “I was crying when I saw it, it really cured me.” For Cho, who performed burlesque on her tour “The Sens…

A Long Long Post About Long Long Lashes

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When I discuss costuming with my students, I often mention that it doesn't stop at the neck. Think like a ballerina or a drag queen: If your costume is fabulous and your face is drab, the fabulousness is sadly, utterly lost! False eyelashes do more than make you more photogenic--they help to give you the exaggeration of expression that an audience can see from the furthest row.


Mary Pickford. Image from infoplease.com.
"Beauty legend has it that American movie director D.W. Griffith designed the first set of false eyelashes. While creating a motion picture in 1916, he wanted his leading lady to have lashes so long they graced her cheeks when she blinked or looked down thoughtfully."
http://makeup.lovetoknow.com/False_Eyelashes


Dr. Lukki Backstage at the 2007 New York Burlesque Festival. Photo by me.
When asked about false eyelashes, Dr. Lukki quotes Roland Barthes: "There is nothing 'false' about false eyelashes. In fact, they are necessary, concrete, REAL …

Blog Post About A Blog Post

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When I was a stripper at the Cheetah III, we had a calendar on the wall that listed all the upcoming conventions so we'd know which nights the club needed extra dancers. Our favorite convention was "The Chicken Pluckers," a huge gathering of those in the poultry game (and ironically, I detest chicken), whose members, if one were to judge by their behavior, were not audited on their expense accounts.

Iowahawk, a non-burlesque blogger, posted pix from a conventioneers' guide to Chicago in 1959 that features lots of burlesque and makes me wonder if there was an equivalent guide for the conventions in Atlanta:

'Consider the week of April 3, 1959. Chicago was teeming with conventioneers ranging from the American Welding Society, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Music Operators of America, National Association of Waste Material Dealers, Life & Casualty Insurance Conference, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Tobacco Di…

Sex Worker's Art Show Riles 'Em Up

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Above: Me backstage with the amazing Reginald Lamar in San Diego during the 2007 Tour.

I wanted to go on the Sex Workers' Art Show Tour this year, as I did last year, but I withdrew my application because I also wanted to stay and work on the new space for the School of Burlesque. It was a tough choice because SWAS means more than a lot to me, but I've been getting lots of calls and messages from the road that make me feel almost like I'm in two places at once. Love is good stuff. I can't be there now so I'm really putting myself into this blog post to establish my undying affection and solidarity for my peeps on the road.

In case you thought there was nothing controversial about burlesque and performance art any more, think again! The heat is on. I'm told one article described the show, in an article illustrated mostly with photos of burlesque performers (including me), as "Beyond Offensive."

This USA Today blog post links to several articles.
Hi…

Interview: Designer Garo Sparo

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In a recent post, I described how many burlesque performers collaborate very closely with designers, and named corsetier Garo Sparo as one of our favorite collaborators. Happily, Garo consented to an interview and allowed me the honor of taking some photos in his studio while he fit me for the "Parade of Muses" in his Sparkle and Cinch Fashion Show coming up on February 6.



Can you give me a little history about Garo Sparo? How did you begin designing? What do you like most about it?
I grew up around design. My grandparents were experts in bead-work and lace making. We always had sewing machines in the house while I was growing up. I began learning clothing construction from a Native American costume designer in Long Island when I was 11, which led to designing my first dress at 14. My teenage years were spent making hats that were sold in local shops and night clubs and making clothes for myself and friends. I think what I enjoy most about designing is that it allows me…

Article Post: Aesthetics and Striptease

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I recently got into a discussion about pornography on another website, unfortunately, and while I just don't have time I used to have to get into those debates, I did do a little research to see if I could find any of my old porn debate articles to which to refer. I got distracted from my search by another writer's article on striptease:

"I have argued that the female nude as she is represented in high art, is only rendered legitimate due to her framed nature. I have echoed the sentiments of Bourdieu and claimed that there is no objective basis on which to condemn objects of art or artistic expressions, which involve sensuous appeal. Part of my defence of striptease has been recognition of the activity as a legitimate form of artistic expression. Moreover, I have suggested that if a Marxist account of art is allowed, there are grounds for defending the notion that the art of striptease is good art on the basis that it might assist in the development and realisation of fe…