Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tempest Storm's Birthday in the Huffington Post

Tempest Storm
Tempest performing in 2004 on the stage by the pool at Exotic World, in Helendale, CA. Photo by me.

"Calling someone a legend before they celebrate their 21st birthday might sound hyperbolic. But, in the case of burlesque dancer Tempest Storm, it just might apply -- with a notable caveat.

"Storm, a fiery redhead known during the 1950s and '60s as "the Tempest in a D-cup," was born on Feb. 29, 1928, a leap year.

Tempest Storm by Brian SmithPhoto by Brian Smith.

"That means even though the calendar says she is turning 84, she is only celebrating her 21st birthday...."

Read more about Tempest Storm's life and her current career.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

School of Burlesque Merch Available for the First Time!

Burlesque Compact

Lola Star designed and made this adorable compact with the New York School of Burlesque! You can get this design on a mug, magnet, shot glass, t-shirt, or tote bag as well. Check out her other gorgeous designs, with lots of fabulous tributes to Coney Island!

Lola Star's Online Shop

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Awesome Blog Post from Sparkly Devil!

sparkly
Above: The awe-inspiring and amaze-inducing Sparkly Devil.

I freakin LOVE Sparkly Devil, and have been fortunate to know and love her long time. She's a fierce and gorgeous and super smart lady, and you should read her blog! Below, one of my favorite recent posts:

"The heyday of burlesque was cultivated in simpler times, when the 4-martini lunch ruled, computers were giant hulking beasts that only the government owned, and phones took forever to dial 9 and were connected to a wall.
"As the burlesque revival has grown since the late ‘90s, it’s been fundamentally shaped by the technological innovations that our generation has access to. Today, we can pick a concept, do a keyword search on iTunes, order the costume on eBay, promote the new act on Twitter, videotape the performance from our phone and then post in on Facebook – in less than a week’s time.
"That said, having the tools to create an act readily available at one’s fingertips does not mean a great act will magically appear – as always, the execution is what makes it pop; it was true then, and it’s true now.
"And though we relish the instant accessibility of a live webcast show or a fruitful Google search, great burlesque pieces don’t happen instantly: many performers spend weeks and months developing their new routines…but not having to walk three miles uphill in a snowstorm to get your rhinestones certainly makes things easier for us.
"Here are five wonderful technological advancements that have shaped the revival as we know it, and helped us create better burlesque...."

Click below to read the rest!
Five Technological Innovations That Shaped Neo-Burlesque


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Five Tips for Rightly Twirling the Tassels

If you want to learn the most basic twirl, here's where to begin!

How to Twirl a Nipple Tassel

Jo

You can do it!

This is just the tip (ha) of the iceberg when it comes to all there is to know about tassels, assels, and tasticles, but if you want to get started, you'll find instant gratification in the basic bounce.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Wonderfully thought-Provoking Post from Sydni Deveraux



From the fabulous Sydni Deveraux:

"Today, I got a message (a group message on Facebook) asking me to vote for them in a burlesque competition, something like “Send me proof that you voted (a screen shot), and win a prize! First come first served, hurry! It’s a limited time offer” (message somewhat changed to protect the messenger). I was….to be honest, horrified. This, on the heels of countless emails from people to vote for them to place on a recent countdown list of the best burlesque performers-I ask you the reader if you see anything wrong with this picture?

"To be clear, I am a competitive person. I wish I weren’t, but I am the product of parents who competed in natural-bodybuilding pageants (I know-weird, right?) and over a decade of select sports. I’m not a wishy-washy “can’t we all be the same” kind of hippie when it comes to performing. I don’t think about this as a woman in a kind of feminist statement kind of way. I think about this in a “I want to see a real good show” kind of way-as an athlete- in a sense. I’ve come to realize that this is a blessing and a curse, seeing that it will always make me work harder, gym harder, want to learn more and constantly keep up on people’s careers. I strive to eventually be recognized as one of the best (or hell, the best) amongst the best. I want everyone else to be rad too-it makes it exciting! It’s good to have goals. I don’t know if I will get there, but I will sure as shit try-all while keeping my morals about me...."

Read more on Sydni's blog--there are lots of great comments too!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Teaching the Boys to Twirl

A couple of weeks ago L Magazine approached me wanting someone to write a few tips on how to twirl tassels, and wanted to make a video to go with it. I immediately suggested teaching boys, and since no one on the magazine staff was ready for the learning experience, I recruited two of my dear and daring friends. They literally jumped at the opportunity.



Read the entire article

There are many other ways to twirl tassels, including many without bouncing! There's an entire chapter on tassel-twirling and how to make pasties in The Burlesque Handbook.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Showgirl Accounting, from the Reigning Blog of Burlesque

I get offers to perform at benefits all the time, and I am usually happy to do it. In fact, one of the reasons I was inspired to create Pink Light Burlesque was because I was getting requested to perform at breast cancer benefits so frequently, and although I am always thrilled and honored to do it, I also feel survivors can represent even more powerfully. Some benefit events have budgets for entertainment, and on a weekend night when I normally could not afford to cancel other gigs that make up a quarter of my monthly income to perform for free, this makes it possible. If I am not already booked, I am almost always willing to donate my time and name and services for free, if I feel that the benefit is intended to do a real service. A misunderstanding that comes up with surprising frequency is when event organizers tell me I can deduct my donation of a performance, when in fact I cannot.

Money
Above: Julie Atlas Muz with money raised at a Starshine Benefit for Exotic World.

From Miss Indigo Blue:

Hi darlings,
Donating performances is an AWESOME way to be involved in your community, get more exposure to new audiences, and get more stage time. However, the value of your performance is not tax-deductible - even if you're donating it to a Non-Profit Organization.
REPEAT: donated performances (aka "services") are *NOT* tax-deductible.
If someone offers you a performance opportunity, and one of the "benefits" is that you can deduct the value of your guarantee, they are WRONG.
Read the rest of this post

Image from Seattle Peach.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stalking the Stocking

The visual impact of stockings is erotic and forceful. When I was a child I was so fascinated by the images of stockings in old lingerie ads that I painted them onto my Barbie dolls. I've been doing stocking peels onstage since I was in high school, going to Rocky Horror and portraying a poetry-reciting stripper character I had created called Prunella DuBois. I even got into trouble one day in high school for wearing stockings under my dress instead of pantyhose. As a dominatrix I found some quite unusual uses for my stockings, and accumulated bagsful of used stockings for nefarious purposes. I'm not a stocking snob, but I enjoy a good stocking peel more than the average person, and I have more garter belts than I can count.

Jo Boobs Weldon Peeling at the Toronto Burlesque Festival
Above: Me peeling out of red stockings from Frederick's of Hollywood at The Toronto Burlesque Festival. Photo copyright Mopo.

galstocking1
Above: Gal Friday teasing with an authentic vintage stocking in the School of Burlesque studio at The Slipper Room. Photo by Don Spiro.

ditastocking
Above: Dita Von Teese in her custom diamond backseam stockings. Photo from Secrets in Lace

houseofhollandbonetights_large
Above--Not stockings, but pretty darn cool. Tights available from Peek Brooklyn.

When I teach my stocking peel classes, I'm often surprised to find that some of my students have never worn a pair of stockings, and it takes a bit of schooling to get them into a pair. For them, as well as for readers of this blog and other stocking-curious folks, I am presenting a brief glossary of stocking terms and types. This won’t make you an expert on stockings, but it should help you to buy the kind of stockings you are trying to buy.

Since this is not intended to be comprehensive, I would love for readers to post pictures and comments! Feel free to link your favorite stocking sources and resources!

Cuban Heel-- Cuban heeled stockings have a reinforced heel that rises up the back of the ankle into a taper that is squared-off at the top. Many packagers of stockings use the terms “Cuban heel” and “French heel” interchangeably, so it is crucial to check out the picture on the package to determine which you are getting, but many stockings aficionados refer only to the pointed top as the French, and to the squared off as the Cuban.

Denier—a Measure of the fineness of the strands in the knit of the stocking. The lower the number, the lighter, more delicate, and more sheer the stocking. Sheers are typically 15-20 denier. Legwear becomes opaque at about 70-100 denier.

French Heel (pointed, but refer to image)—French heeled stockings have a reinforced heel that rises up the back of the ankle into a point. Many packagers of stockings use the terms “Cuban heel” and “French heel” interchangeably, so it is crucial to check out the picture on the package to determine which you are getting, but many stockings aficionados refer only to the pointed top as the French, and to the squared off as the Cuban.

Fishnet Stockings--stockings in an elastic open knit that looks like a net.

Fully Fashioned—A fully-fashioned stocking is knit flat and is fully fashioned in the shape of a leg.

Garters—Also known as suspenders (UK). Elastic devices for holding up stockings. When circular, as in the 1920s, they would go around the top of a stocking as a tight band to hold them up. Now they are most frequently straps of elastic with clips on the end attached to a band that goes around the waist, called a Garter Belt.

Hold-ups (generally British terminology for Thigh-highs)—Same as Stay-ups. Stockings with bands at the top that holds them up without garters. The band may simply be thicker, or it may be lined with silicone or rubber to grip the leg.

Hosiery—Legwear.

Lycra—the miracle fiber of stretch.

Nylons—stockings, usually made of nylon. Nylon does not stretch.

Pantyhose—stockings with a panty attached. The panty may be sheer to waist, reinforced, patterned, control, or a variety of shapes.

RHT (Reinforced Heel and Toe)—More densely knit toe and heel on a stocking to keep it from running at areas of stress.

RT (Reinforced Toe)-- More densely knit toe on a stocking to keep it from running at areas of stress.

Seam—the line running up the back of the leg, which may be a design woven into the knit or an actual seam.

Stay-Ups(generally British terminology for Thigh-highs)— -- Same as Hold-ups. Stockings with bands at the top that holds them up without garters. The band may simply be thicker, or it may be lined with silicone or rubber to grip the leg.

Stockings—Legwear without a panty or elastic top, which must be held up by garters. Usually sheer.

Stretch Stocking—a knit stocking with lycra built into it to fit a variety of leg shapes and sizes (though not one size fits all).

Suspenders—See Garters.

Thigh Highs (generally US terminology for Stay-ups)— -- Same as Hold-ups. Stockings with bands at the top that holds them up without garters. The band may simply be thicker, or it may be lined with

Tights—in the US, opaque or patterned panty hose; in the UK may be sheer.

Welt—the doubled-over top band of a stocking.

Feel free to add to the list and let us know if you have different definitions for any of these terms!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pink Light Burlesque in TIME


"Jennifer Burke used to prize her breasts as her best feature. But it wasn’t until she had a double mastectomy that she found herself performing a burlesque striptease in front of an enthusiastic New York City crowd...."
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/26/pink-light-burlesque-breast-cancer-survivors-strip-down-and-celebrate/#ixzz1lBUioeaK