I am fortunate that I get to teach and constantly see people get excited about music, moves, and routines by which some experienced performers get bored. I also get to spend time with burlesque legends and have my respect for and joy in them constantly renewed. Burlesque just doesn't get old for me!
I was moved by the comments many of my students and other first-timers made to me at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender earlier this month, and I collected a few of them. This is part one--there is much more to come!
Note, none of the photos in this article are by me; all are courtesy of the subjects.
"My experience to landing in Vegas for the first time, partaking in the Pinup Safari and working with various and amazing photographers, seeing my idols on stage, meeting the legends and making friends that will last a lifetime is only a snippet of the amazing experience that I am still processing. This is a weekend that I will continue to make a tradition for years to come!"
"Getting the chance to see the Legends, in person, take that stage with such, grace, pride and courage will hopefully make me a stronger and wiser performer. But what struck me was how aproachable and warm all these women were, the Legends, the soon to be legends, the modren performers that I admire. Even after all that fawing and "can I get your picture" they were ready and friendly with advice or a kind word. And I will be eternally greatfull that I did not miss Satan's Angel gettting the Lifetime Acheivement trophy. That was the moment that brought tears to my eyes.
OK that the all the amazingly fabulous foot wear..ye gods!"
--Kisa von Teasa
"The entire weekend was beyond amazing, but for me the Reunion Show was
my "I can't believe I'm here" moment. When Dixie stood on stage with
an entire showroom of burlesque entertainers & enthusiasts standing to
applaud her and the other Legends I was overcome with emotion. Being a
part of an audience comprised of performers who share an intense
passion for the art and watching those incredibly inspirational women
take the stage... I fell in love with burlesque all over again."
--Itty Bitty Bang Bang
"Since I got back I've been feeling a little dazed and sometimes feel like it
was all an uber glamourous dream. Getting the chance to hang out with
and meet so many of the performers that I have been inspired by for
the past 6 years has been a huge honour and a gigantic thrill!
Backstage as I was getting my bags after I won the best debut award, I
ran into Tempest Storm, I asked to shake her hand and she said " From
one redhead to another, great act." I have never cried so much and
felt that I never want to do anything else!"
The most striking moment was seeing all of the women who came before
us on stage. I was so inspired by the Legends and just completely
affected by the respect everyone has for those trailblazin' dames. We
as a society do ourselves a *huge* disservice when we dismiss people
in their later years and focus on young, airbrushed "perfection".
"I have to add I was blown away by performing on the amazing Orleans
stage -- what a way to lose my BHoF virginity! And I'm so grateful to
be performing as a member of the Chicago Starlets. Michelle and
Franky's wedding was a unique experience for certain. I was honored to
towel off the Ass (literally) That Goes POW on her wedding day!"
Also read stories from JD Oxblood, intrepid New York blogger spending his first weekend at BHoF!
And read what I've felt seeing the legends and students over the years.
Laurie Penny is an amazing person, but she's shortchanging burlesque and the burlesque community.
There's more to come from our BHoF virgins. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to be included in this report at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to add your own stories and link your own photos in the comments here.
Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.