Friday, June 21, 2013

Burlesque Resources!

Burlesque Industry Magazines, Websites, Blogs, Press, etc.

Compiled By Lula Houp-Garou in The Fringe Forum


 
Pin Curl Magazine:  http://pincurlmag.com/

21st Century Burlesque:  http://21stcenturyburlesque.com/

Bachelor Pad:  http://www.bachelorpadmagazineonline.com/

The Burlesker - Arts by, for, about the Burlesque Community: http://berlesker.com/

Burlesque Beat www.burlesquebeat.com

Burlesque Bitch: www.burlesquebitch.com

The Burlesque Bible:  http://www.burlesquebiblemag.com/

Coochie Crunch:  http://coochiecrunch.com/

Burlesque Magazine:  http://www.burlesquemag.com/

This is Cabaret:  http://www.thisiscabaret.com/

Burlesque Stars http://www.burlesquestars.net/




Blogs:


Burlesque Daily: http://burlesquedaily.blogspot.com/

The Shimmy Up - Tools, resources and advice for the classy, savvy and ethical performer:  http://www.theshimmyup.com/

Burlesque Seattle Press:  http://burlesqueseattle.com/

Sydni Deveraux's Stripper Talk: http://thegoldenglamazon.wordpress.com/

Penny Starr Jr's blog "LA's Burl-expert":  http://burl-expert.tumblr.com/

Showgirl Detritus - Nasty Canasta's blog:  http://showgirldetritus.blogspot.ca/

Blood, Sweat and Glitter - Rants & Raves from Sparkly Devil: http://sparklydevil.wordpress.com/

Feminist Sonar:  http://feministsonar.com/  ("Feminist Sonar is a blog written by Elsa S. Henry, a feminist scholar living in Jersey City. It covers disability rights, women's politics, gender & popular culture, and burlesque.")

Danger Maus's blog:  http://VivaVoombrrlesque.blogspot.com
(VivaVoom Brr-Lesque in Anchorage, Alaska.)

Calamity Chang's blog:  http://calamitychang.blogspot.com/

Annie Cherry's blog:  http://anniecherry.wordpress.com/

Sweet Louise's blog:  http://sweetlouiseburlesque.com/
Thanks to Lula Houp-Garou!
http://www.lulahoupgarou.com/

The editable document
https://www.facebook.com/groups/425317287562942/doc/459245590836778/




Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grant Philipo's Showgirls, Showboys, and Vegas-style Burlesque



Above: Some of Grant's work. Swoon!
 
 
Showgirls, Showboys, and Vegas-style Burlesque With Grant Philipo
Saturday, June 1, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
$5 at the door, advance tickets here
Drawing from his extensive experience as a producer, writer, choreographer and designer in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Grant Philipo shares historical and anecdotal information about the trajectory of showgirls, showboys, and burlesque dancers in the Vegas area.
To attend this presentation, visit:
http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/


Born and raised in Iowa, Grant Philipo is the youngest person to ever produce a full-scale, 35 plus cast member, multi-million dollar spectacular for a major Las Vegas Strip property.  His "90 Degrees & Rising" premiered at the Dunes Hotel & Casino to rave reviews.  Most impressive is the fact that "90 Degrees & Rising" was produced for a fraction of the amount spent on similar Strip extravaganzas.  www.RisingIncSpectaculars.com

Grant's career has taken him from years of artistic, vocal and dramatic achievements and awards, to professional careers as a lead singer/dancer and makeup artist, to being a top high-fashion model, and on to working alongside and designing with and for such greats as Bob Mackie, Michael Travis, Dolly Parton, Ann-Margret, Eartha Kitt and Liberace, to mention just a few.  Grant has earned scholarships, and performed and trained others at the Des Moines Museum of Art, USC San Diego, Stage 7 (San Diego’s only Professional Entertainment Academy),  Barbizon, San Diego Ballet Company and the Pygmalion Institute in Las Vegas.   For a number of years, Philipo's costumes have been displayed alongside Bob Mackie’s and others at UNLV’s Art Museum Showing of “The Las Vegas Showgirl,” as well as been featured on MTV, Biography, A&E and the Billboard Music Awards.

Grant's award-winning shows and costumes have graced almost every stage in Las Vegas, as well as a number of those in Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Japan and Mexico.  Unlike others in his profession, he produces, writes, designs, directs and stages all of his own shows. His costume collection contains the largest number of privately owned Bob Mackie creations, as well as numerous pieces by Pete Menefee and Michael Travis, as well as many equally stunning Grant Philipo Originals.  As the onetime Artistic Director for the Hollywood Wax Museums, Grant's re-creations of garments worn by stars and royalty are still on display in both the Los Angeles and Branson, Missouri, locations, as well as in Fong's Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, and the Guinness World Book of Records Museums in California and Florida.  Philipo's work had also been on display at the now closed Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California.



Grant's Showgirl Museum
The collections housed in the museum takes visitors back to where it all
started, in Paris.  It gives a glimpse of all aspects, including live re-
enactments of some of Las Vegas' most famous production numbers, headliners and
specialty acts, from Hallelujah Hollywood, Splash, Enter the Night, Jubilee!,
Les Folies Bergere, 90 Degrees and Rising, Melinda, The First Lady of Magic,
Ann-Margaret Show, Lynda Carter Show, and Liberace Show, in addition to famous
movies and revues from around the world.  In addition there is memorabilia and
costumes that belonged to and were worn by Raquel Welch, Rosemary Clooney,
Mitzi Gaynor, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Cyd Charisse, Susan Hayward, Lana
Turner, Susan Anton, Maureen O’Hara, Donny & Marie, Julie Andrews, Betty
Hutton, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds, Cary Grant, Kathryn Grayson, Tyrone Power,
Greer Garson, June Allyson, Jane Russell, Vera Ellen, Tony Orlando, Frank
Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Sonny & Cher, and others.
http://www.lasvegasshowgirlmuseum.com/

Check out video from Grant's shows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QAQxMi5-d0

The Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School is sponsored by Burlycon http://www.burlycon.org


A Quickie with Andrew Davis!

Andrew Davis teaches at Otis College of Art and Design and is one of the few people for whom the label “straight man” is a job description. He is the taller, more sophisticated half of the comedy team of Doc and Stumpy, and has performed classic burlesque comedy in Los Angeles and at burlesque and vaudeville festivals around the U.S. He holds a M.A. in Folklore from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU. He is the author of America’s Longest Run: A History of the Walnut Street Theatre (Penn State Press) and he operates the website BaggyPantsComedy.com.

I interviewed Doc about his spectacularly detailed, informative, and entertaining book,  Baggy Pants Comedy Burlesque and the Oral Tradition.



When did you publish this book? How long did it take?
The book was published in 2011.  It was actually my doctoral dissertation, which I completed in 2000.  I’d gotten another book contract in the meantime, so I delayed a few years in revising the dissertation for publication.  My work on it really started in 1992, when I was getting a Master’s Degree in Folklore and Mythology at UCLA.  I’d heard about this stripper’s museum out in the desert, so I tracked down Dixie Evans at Exotic World, and she invited me to come to the Miss Exotic World pageant that year.  Catherine D’Lish won that year, and I got to meet and interview a number of the old strippers who came to the reunion. 
The following year, I had a graduate assistantship to do a conference, so I put together a 2-day conference on burlesque, invited Dixie and some other gals out talk about their careers, brought in some academics like Robert Allen (who wrote Horrible Prettiness), and had Ann Corio and her husband come out to do an evening presentation based on their show, This Was Burlesque.  It was really quite an event.  It was the first academic conference to get a write up in Army Archerd’s column in Variety.

How did you get interested in Baggy Pants comedians?
I became interested in baggy pants comedy because it was my theatrical background and I wanted to know more about my tradition.  I had trained in improvisational comedy and I was interested in comedy in general – silent film comedians and vaudevillians especially.  I became aware of the tradition of baggy pants comedy in the mid-1980s when I came across a collection of burlesque sketches at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles.  They had a pretty good size collection of sketches belonging to Ken Murray, who produced a show in Los Angeles in the 1940s called Ken Murray’s Blackouts.  I remember thinking the comedy was pretty lame, but I’d discovered that it was the premise of the scene – the basic situation – that was important, not the specific jokes, for the scenes were passed on orally and each comic made the scene his own by dropping in their own jokes and adapting them to their stage persona.
When I went back to graduate school in Folklore in the early 1990s, I remembered the collection, and I knew I had a good subject for original research – a necessary thing for a doctoral dissertation.  No folklorist had ever examined this material because it was passed on by professional performers in an urban environment at a time when folklorists were only studying rural storytellers.  I started looking around for more collections and found them in various archives around the U.S. 
Have you gotten in touch with some of the old baggy pants comedians? What was that like?
There were not too many burlesque comics around by the time I got interested in the subject.  I was closest to Dexter Maitland, the Straightman for Ann Corio’s This Was Burlesque, who was in his nineties when I knew him.  I got to know Ann pretty well, along with her husband, Mike Iannucci.  I met Jimmie Mathews a couple of times – he had worked for Corio, too.  Bob “Rubberlegs” Tannenbaum was a big help, as well, although he was too young to have really been involved in the comedy – he mostly worked carnivals.  
It was the women who provided me with the best entrĂ©e into the world of baggy pants comedians.  There were always young women coming into the industry, but it stopped being a good showcase for comics after LaGuardia shut burlesque down in New York City.  You couldn’t be seen by New York producers.  Dixie Evans was a big help in putting me in touch with people who knew something about the comedy.  I met Susan Mills, whose husband – Steve – was the principal comic for the Corio show when it opened in New York in 1963.  A number of these people came to the UCLA Conference I put together.

What do you hope people take away from this book?
I am hoping for two things.  First, for the burlesque community, I hope it gives people involved in the burlesque movement an understanding and an appreciation as to how central comedy was to the success of the burlesque show.  Burlesque originally referred to comedy – it was initially a form of parody or travesty – and it was only later that it became associated with erotic entertainment.  The combination of comedy and striptease is absolute gold.  I hate to say it, but watching stripper after stripper after stripper gets old after awhile.  You need some variety – something to cleanse the palate, as it were.  The comedy does that.  When you’re finished laughing, you’re ready to be aroused again.  And that arousal helps fuel the comedy.
I think we’ve proved that in L.A.  My comedy partner and I work the Monday Night Tease in Hollywood once a month, as Doc and Stumpy.  We emcee the show, get the audience worked up and cheering for the girls, and we do a couple of classic scenes – we did “Flugel Street” not long ago – or original material based on classic formulas.  There’s a Taxidermy scene that I’m pleased with.  (“What’s a taxidermist?  ”  “Why a taxidermist is a guy who mounts dead animals.”  “I beg your pardon.”)  The material still works once you bring in some topical references, and make it fresh for today.  And the comedy really enhances the striptease, because it engaging the audience and encourages them to be boisterous.  The dancers at a Doc and Stumpy show definitely feel the difference in audience response.
The second thing I hope people to take away from the book is a deeper understanding of comedy.  Burlesque represents a different approach to comedy performance than people are generally aware of nowadays.  It was an oral tradition – a remembered tradition of comedy bits and routines that were passed on from performer to performer, from generation to generation.  It’s a different approach that either improvisational comedy or standup, the two training ground for comedians nowadays.  It’s closer to commedia dell’arte and circus clowning.  Comics and clowns develop a persona they use through most of their career, unlike improv-trained people who create a variety of eccentric characters.  It’s interactive – relying on give and take – unlike standup comedy.  Once you’ve learned the routines, you can use them for the rest of your career.
The best example of this style of playing is Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First.”  Biographers like to say they worked in vaudeville because of burlesque’s raunchy reputation, but Abbott and Costello were really burlesque comics.  If you did sketch comedy, you did burlesque; vaudeville was mostly specialty acts.  “Who’s On First” – which Time Magazine credited as the funniest comedy bit of the 20th Century (nudging out Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch) – was a sketch that goes back to the 19th century and a routine called “Watt Street.”  Now the remarkable thing about that “Who’s On First” is that Abbott & Costello never did the bit the same way twice.  (You can check it out on the internet.)  They never memorized the routine; never wanted to, because they wanted to keep it fresh.  They would purposely try to foul each other up.  That kept them on their toes and kept the routine from getting stale.
I work much the same way with my comedy partner, David Springhorn, who performs as “Stumpy Putz.”  (“It’s not a name, it’s a warning.”)  We have a loose relationship to the script, and we’re likely to go off in all kinds of directions, and certain portions of the show are mostly free-form, especially the opening.  We have our set gags to come back to, but we’re open to .
Both of us worked Renaissance Faires for years, and the street performance kind of defines our style.  We are comfortable with interacting with the audience and we take opportunities for spontaneous. 


I’d like to see more of the comedy at Festivals like BHoF weekend.  Most younger performers are only vaguely aware of the comedy in burlesque, but the Legends are often our biggest boosters.  (“Yeah, I remember the Golf Bit.  Scurvy Miller used to do it in Detroit.  Very funny guy.”)  I’m hoping to create more of a space for comedy in the neo-burlesque movement – or at least awareness of it.
When my book comes out in softcover, hopefully more people will be aware of it and try it out.  Right now, the hardcover retails for $90, so it’s only libraries that are buying it.  The softcover should be out by the end of the year.  I am hoping that young actors and theatre students will pick up on it, once the price is within reason.
The only group that I know is working with this material is Maque daVis’ group in Seattle, and they haven’t been at the BHoF weekend for a few years now.  Once there’s a critical mass of people experimenting with this material, you can switch out partners and see where it takes you.  When you know the comic’s or straightman’s or talking woman’s lines for a particular scene, you should be able to work with any other partner that is out there.  Meeting up with people who know many of the same scenes could be a big attraction at burlesque festivals.  It’s a matter of finding a critical mass of people who know the repertoire.  If you knew that these festivals were a place where you could jam with some other people from other cities, it might bring a whole new type of attendee for events like this one.
That opens up your flexibility and your awareness, and can come up with fresh material and a fresh take on an old scene by working with an unfamiliar partner. It’s a little bit like social dance in that respect.

You can enjoy Doc's presentation at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in Las Vegas Friday, May 31
Baggy Pants Comedy: Burlesque and the Oral Tradition
With Doc and Stumpy
3:30pm - 4:30pm
$5 at the door, advance tickets here http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/
Join Andrew Davis for a presentation on burlesque comedy! He will explore the role of comedy in a show remembered mostly for striptease, and examine how burlesque comics, straight men, and talking women approached the craft of comedy, working in a genre that relied not on scripts but on a remembered tradition of comedy bits that circulated orally. The book opens a long-neglected area of American folklore. He'll discuss fondly-remembered routines like "Who's On First" and "Niagara Falls (Slowly I Turned)."

Check out Andrew's amazing book!
http://www.amazon.com/Baggy-Pants-Comedy-Burlesque-Performance/dp/0230116795

The Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School is sponsored by BurlyCon.
http://www.burlycon.org




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Quickie with Tiffany Carter!



Miss Nude Universe 1975, Tiffany Carter began her burlesque career at the infamous Pink Pussycat in Hollywood, California. An active, in-demand entertainer with Sparky Blaine’s American Showgirl agency, Tiffany toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Tiffany has came out of burlesque retirement and become one of the most beloved and booked burlesque Legends within the international neo-burlesque community!

Are you performing at BHOF this year?
Yes, I am performing on Friday night! I am doing a great old classic song to begin with and I am just saying how much I love everyone!

What are some of your favorite things about the BHOF Weekender?
I love getting to meet all the new people in this show biz group!

 Have you taught a class before?
I taught a class 2 years ago "Panels and Negligee’s and it was my favorite thing that year. I want to give back to all the new people coming into this business. One of the best things about teaching is to be able to give back, get and giving feedback, and helping performers learn all they want to learn from a legend. There are certain basics and looks that might not be happening in their generation and I think they should try to learn this from the legends.

What do you hope students will get out of your class?
Students should be able to walk out of my class saying, "Wow, I really learned a lot from that class, she really knows what she's talking about!” I hope they walk out with a big smile on their face and say they have learned way more than they expected!

Anything special they should wear or bring?
Wear comfortable clothes, as this class is a workout! Definitely bring shoes and stockings you can play with. If they like, bring a boa, scarf - anything to play and tease with! Most importantly, bring a great attitude.

What do you hope people will get out of your class?
I’ve covered some of that in my other answers, but I hope for them to say they learned a lot from a legend and want to see me more, because a one-hour class just isn't enough for all of what I want like to give back and teach! There is so, so, much to learn! I want to teach more and more - it has been the most fun and exciting for me!

You can take Tiffany's Chair Dance class this weekend in Las Vegas!
http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/

See Tiffany perform:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElFawcPo9ww&feature=share&list=PL46329B571D00F253

The Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School is administered and sponsored by Burlycon. http://www.burlycon.org
Special thanks to Coco Te Amo for administering the interviews!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Quickie with Toni Elling!



Ms Toni Elling got her name from Duke Ellington, a close friend, when she began performing in the 1960s. She became known for her originality and her skillful strut. She worked throughout the US Northeast and in Japan. She created a huge stir with the way she walked across the stage upon her return at BHoF in 2006, and has brought her signature style to stages from Detroit to New York. Today she is known for teaching the Three P’s: Parade, Pose, and Peel.

Are you performing at BHOF this year?
I will not be performing at BHOF this year; however, I will do the Walk Of Fame

What are some of your favorite things about the BHOF Weekender?
I love being able to see old friends and making new ones!

 Have you taught a class before?
Yes, I have done classes before. It makes me happy to share my knowledge.

 What do you hope students will get out of your class?
  I hope to show students how panels can be used in an act!



See Toni perform!
http://youtu.be/vX8hgGpzH3Q

Parade, Pose, and Peel (featuring the Panel Skirt)
With Toni Elling
2:00pm - 3:00pm
$50, advance tickets here, seats are limited
Toni returns with her hit class on strutting the stage and handling panel skirts! Panel skirts are gaining new appreciation in the neo-burlesque movement for their ability to convey both grace and fire. Learn how to manipulate them with beauty and passion from a mistress of the form! If you have a panel skirt, bring it! Wear stretchy comfortable clothing and bring a pair of dance shoes.
You can register for Toni's class:
http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/

The Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School is sponsored by Burlycon
http://www.burlycon.org
Special thanks to Coco Te Amo for administering the interview!


Read more about Toni here:
http://burlesquedaily.blogspot.com/2007/08/interview-with-burlesque-legend-toni.html



Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Quickie with Delilah Jones!


Delilah Jones was born in Berlin, Germany at the stroke of midnight on a full moon in
1941. She began performing in 1959 and worked with Lili St Cyr at the El Rancho
in L.A, Sally Rand in 1965 in Hollywood, Tura Satana, and many other
luminaries. She toured North America for two dazzling decades and retired from
burlesque in 1980. Her knowledge of the different eras is extensive and her
perspective is wry and insightful, with a clear understanding of context, time,
and place. She is part of a lovely crew of Las Vegas local legends who make sure to
spend time together in the spirit of striptease sisterhood. She will be taking
the stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame for the first time this year.




Are you performing at BHOF this year?

I’ll be performing on Friday!

What are some of your favorite things about the BHOF Weekender?

I love being with friends, all long time legends, under one roof.

Have you taught a class before? If so, what do you like about teaching?

I’ve never taught a class before, so this will be my first time! My class will
be on vintage 50’s style and how stripping changed with the newer generation,
once go-go came into style.

What do you hope students will get out of your class?

I hope students will walk away with different way of looking at
stripping.

Anything special they should wear or bring?

Definitely bring a dress, and also a boa or a cape!


You can register for Delilah's class at

http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/

>


If you cannot see the video below visit http://www.youtube.com/embed/1WnFI9x3TZo


Special thanks to Coco">https://www.facebook.com/coco.teamo.1">Coco Te
Amo
for administering the Finishing School interviews.

The Burlesque">http://www.burlesquehall.com">Burlesque Hall of Fame
Finishing School, featuring classes and presentation by Living Legends of Burlesque, was
founded by Paula the Swedish Housewife, Miss Indigo Blue, and Jo Weldon, and is
sponsored by Burlycon.

http://www.burlycon.org">Burlycon
.

>

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Quickie with Camille 2000--The Girl for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

camille_cropped

Camille 2000 was the first burlesque queen to introduce Aggressive Art to burlesque with her tribute to Marquis De Sade. With the tagline “The Girl for Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” she’s a performer no one can forget. She posed for elite photographers, travelled with trunks of costumes and props, and once had a Japanese television crew follow her, reality TV-style, long before that genre ever became popular. Her 20-year career includes acting roles in movies and television shows — alongside Burt Reynolds in B.L. Stryker, 13 episodes of Miami Vice, appeared in Porky’s II and Alan Carr’s remake of Where the Boys Are. Her emotionally powerful fan dance marked her return to the stage in 2011, and her S&M themed act with Tigger! made the audience roar at the BHoF Weekender in 2012.

 
Are you performing at BHOF this year? Which night? Do you want to give us a hint about what you'll be doing?

I am performing on Sunday night and will be doing a number with lighted nunchucks to Pat Benatar’s, “Love is a Battlefield”.

What are some of your favorite things about the BHOF Weekender?

Seeing everyone and then partying together.

 Have you taught a class before? If so, what do you like about teaching?

Yes, I have taught before! I love being in touch with the new Neo-Burlesque movement.
 
Camille performing at BHOF, 2011.
Photographer credit pending.
 

What do you hope students will get out of your class?

How to be confident! Also, to learn how to be a true burlesque queen, Camille 2,000 style!

Anything special they should wear or bring?

Nothing special to wear - just bring themselves!
 
You can register for Camille's class at
 
 
See Camille perform for the first time in 20 years:
 

If the embedded video above is not working you can view the clip at this URL: http://youtu.be/d3r_WC_RFlk
 
True to Jennie Lee's vision, the classes support both the BHOF collection and the legends themselves!
 
Special thanks to Coco Te Amo for administering the legend interviews for the classes.
 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Learn from Living Legends of Burlesque



Before there was The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in Las Vegas, there was Exotic World on a goat farm in the desert in Helendale, California. There, performers such as Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Tigger, Miss Indigo Blue, and Kitten Deville, who at that time had been doing burlesque professionally for just a few short years, performed alongside Living Legends of burlesque whose careers spanned the 1940s-1970s. The living legends inspired new performers with their fierceness, their skills, and their story-telling. The performers who learned from them show a special fire and a rare sense of accessible humor mixed with high expectations of entertainment ability that created the new era of burlesque, in which these performers travel the world headlining festivals, media gatherings, and art events. Whether you are new to burlesque or an instructor, the Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School offers you the opportunity to add this kind of character and depth to your work, and to add these instructors to your CV.


If you are having trouble seeing the video below, click here: http://youtu.be/blWbJeqRZJc

http://youtu.be/blWbJeqRZJc


For the sixth blockbuster year, the Burlesque Hall of Fame Finishing School offers rare, hands-on workshops with “Living Legends” of the art of Burlesque. Each of these instructors has her own unique perspective on the art, and shares directly from her own experience.

The BHOF finishing school recognizes that legends of burlesque have unique material to source. It is an opportunity for not just new students, but other instructors of burlesque, so add history, depth, and character to their understanding of the art form they love. Legends are rarely available, and unlike all other burlesque teachers in the world, they are a diminishing, rather than an increasing, resource. It is a unique opportunity to learn style, attitude, history, and sometimes even technique directly from the people who helped make the art of burlesque a part of our culture and artistic heritage.

http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/


Produced by the BurlyCon Burlesque Educational Convention, offerings are curated by Hall of Fame Co-Directors of Education, Jo “Boobs” Weldon(New York School of Burlesque) and Miss Indigo Blue (The Academy of Burlesque), and in the past have included workshops with such notable stars as Big Fannie Annie (2009), Candy “Baby” Carmello (2010), Dee Milo (2009), Joan Arline , Marinka (2008), Satan’s Angel (2010), Toni Elling (2009), the late Tura Satana (2008), and Wild Cherry (2008).


This year’s classes will again offer the perfect opportunity for devotees of the Art of Burlesque to expand their knowledge.


See class schedule and Living Legend instructors below!




FRIDAY, MAY 31


Chair Dance and the Elements of Tease
With Tiffany Carter
 11 am - Noon

 The chair is one of the most frequently used props in burlesque. Learn to be a tease on this classic burlesque prop from a living Legend! Please bring high heels, stockings, and form fitting clothing you can move in, such as yoga wear.


From Feathers to Leathers
With Camille 2000
 12:30pm - 1:30pm


 Join the outrageous and passionate Camille 2000 to learn how to use your natural personality to create a stage-worthy persona. She will discuss how to establish your character without becoming pigeon-holed, and how to be true to yourself in an increasingly competitive field.

Beginner Burlesque
With Judith Stein
 2:00pm - 3:00pm


 Judith Stein will teach you the in and outs of basic burlesque, along with tidbits about the etiquette and superstitions she learned backstage during her career. This class includes work on posture, presentation, glove removal and other peels. Students will need to bring: high heels, long gloves, and a button-down shirt.




SATURDAY, JUNE 1


Burlesque of the 1950s and 1960s
With Delilah Jones
 11 am - noon


 Learn about authentic Golden Age burlesque from a woman who was there! Delilah Jones will share the challenges and opportunities of creating a routine and establishing a name in that era. Whether your goal is to recreate the feel of the 1950s and 60s, add a bit of its flavor to your routines, or just be an informed fan of burlesque, this class offers a rare glimpse of her unique knowledge.

Latin Moves!
With Gina BonBon
 12:30pm - 1:30pm


 Get ready to move with heat and style! Learn how to incorporate Latin style into your performance from Gina BonBon, known for her skillful and vivid Latin dance techniques.

Parade, Pose, and Peel (featuring the Panel Skirt)
With Toni Elling
 2:00pm - 3:00pm


 Toni returns with her hit class on strutting the stage and handling panel skirts! Panel skirts are gaining new appreciation in the neo-burlesque movement for their ability to convey both grace and fire. Learn how to manipulate them with beauty and passion from a mistress of the form! If you have a panel skirt, bring it! Wear stretchy comfortable clothing and bring a pair of dance shoes.


FINISHING SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR PROFILES



Camille 2000

Camille 2000 was the first burlesque queen to introduce Aggressive Art to burlesque with her tribute to Marquis De Sade. With the tagline “The Girl for Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” she’s a performer no one can forget. She posed for elite photographers, travelled with trunks of costumes and props, and once had a Japanese television crew follow her, reality TV-style, long before that genre ever became popular. Her 20-year career includes acting roles in movies and television shows — alongside Burt Reynolds in B.L. Stryker, 13 episodes of Miami Vice, appeared in Porky’s II and Alan Carr’s remake of Where the Boys Are. Her emotionally powerful fan dance marked her return to the stage in 2011, and her S&M themed act with Tigger! made the audience roar at the BHoF Weekender in 2012.



Delilah Jones

Delilah was born in Berlin, Germany at the stroke of midnight on a full moon in 1941. She began performing in 1959 and worked with Lili St Cyr at the El Rancho in L.A, Sally Rand in 1965 in Hollywood, Tura Satana, and many other luminaries. She toured North America for two dazzling decades and retired from burlesque in 1980. She will be returning to the stage this year at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase!



Gina BonBon

Gina was born in Cuba, and in 1965 she began her burlesque career dancing in the chorus line at the Latin Quarter Club in New York City. Soon after, she was featured on the burlesque circuit for Al Baker Jr., appearing in clubs and theaters all over the US, Canada, and Guam. She worked in Minsky’s Follies at the Playboy Club, and in Burlesque USA with Red Buttons and Robert Alda, and continued to work in television and theaters.


Judith Stein

Judith Stein is an acclaimed international performer. As Burlesque Hall of Fame’s only Canadian Legend of Burlesque, she is a proud supporter of the Canadian Association of Burlesque Entertainers, Vancouver Burlesque Festival, the Alberta Burlesque Alliance, and more! Ms. Judith Stein continues to perform and mentor, to the delight of audiences and students everywhere.



Tiffany Carter

Miss Nude Universe 1975, Tiffany Carter began her burlesque career at the infamous Pink Pussycat in Hollywood, California. An active, in-demand entertainer with Sparky Blaine’s American Showgirl agency, Tiffany toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Tiffany has came out of burlesque retirement and become one of the most beloved and booked burlesque Legends within the international neo-burlesque community!



Toni Elling

Ms Toni Elling got her name from Duke Ellington, a close friend, when she began performing in the 1960s. She became known for her originality and her skillful strut. She worked throughout the US Northeast and in Japan. She created a huge stir with the way she walked across the stage upon her return at BHoF in 2006, and has brought her signature style to stages from Detroit to New York. Today she is known for teaching the Three P’s: Parade, Pose, and Peel.


 The BHOF finishing school recognizes that legends of burlesque have unique material to source. It is an opportunity for not just new students, but other instructors of burlesque, to add history, depth, and character to their understanding of the art form they love. Legends are rarely available, and unlike all other burlesque teachers in the world, they are a diminishing, rather than an increasing, resource. It is a unique opportunity to learn attitude, history, and technique directly from the people who created it.

http://bhofweekend.com/schedule-of-events/bhof-finishing-school/


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Musicality and The Choreography of Events

I haven't had time to post much lately, but I just have to talk ever so briefly about a concept that comes up every time I teach.

"Musicality in dance then might be considered a measure or degree to which a dancer is receptive and creative in his translation or rendering of music through movement." --From Dance Advantage: Musicality in Dance.

In The Burlesque Handbook, I talk about the importance of musicality and timing. It's the art of making it look as if your movements and actions influenced the music, rather than the other way around.

One of my favorite film clips for performers to study musicality is The Skeleton Dance, a Silly Symphonies cartoon. In it the skeletons are timed so that not just their dancing but their actions take place according to the music. It appears as if the music is caused by their movements rather than the other way around.

When Billie Madley did a workshop at The New York School of Burlesque, she described "horns coming out of her ass"  in this routine. It's a perfect example of the performer making it look as if her body is responsible for all the action onstage!

Dance training is a definite asset for burlesque performers, as it helps them to understand and achieve musicality. However, in a burlesque routine, there is usually also a choreographed striptease in which events, such as a glove peel, corset opening, or gown drop also happens, so these events should be musical as well. Make it look as if your hips make the drums beat, as if the long tone of the horn is being drawn out by the tension in your stocking peel, as if it's the raising of your eyebrows that makes the piano pause. This also applies to comedy events--try timing the opening of a bottle into a musical moment that makes it sound as if the top coming off made the harp trill happen, as if the opening of a book created dramatic tympany, as if your pausing to give the audience a look of surprise caused a change in musical tempo. Even if you don't have dance training,  you can find moments in your choreography of events to "make music happen."

Here's a clip of Peekaboo Pointe and Gal Friday making it look as if ALL the music is coming out of their asses:

Blogger has been doing some odd stuff to my video posts, so if you can't see the clip, here's the URL: http://www.youtube.com/embed/Wmy829bczys

If you have comments or favorite moments of musicality in burlesque, please post them here!





Saturday, March 2, 2013

Seasoned Performer to New Performer Etiquette--New Article at Pincurl Mag!



Above: Photo of Jo Weldon by Dallas Pinup.

When I first started working in strip joints in 1980, there were still what we now call “Legends of Burlesque” working in the clubs, usually as costumers or house mothers. And they HATED us. They had worked in the 40s-70s and they’d had minks and limousines and choreographers and champagne and feather boas and had all been engaged to Frank Sinatra. We were whores in spandex who were destroying the art form with our full nudity and jukeboxes and lack of artistry. I certainly wasn’t inclined to think of them as mentors. Realistically, they didn’t have much to offer in terms of helping me make more money–their era, which in some cases was only ten years past, had a different format. If I had done what they did I wouldn’t have gotten the results they got. Also, I didn’t care to be trained to end up stuck in a strip club I detested. I did, however, adore them for their stories. And their incredible hair and nails. And I really wanted to get paid to prance around in a beaded gown and play with ostrich fans and boas, although it took me another 12 years to figure out how to make that happen.

Remembering how they alienated us, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts on how the established performers of 2013 might relate to the new blood. Even if you disagree, I hope it gives you food for thought.

1) Remember that things are supposed to change. If burlesque looked the same as it did fifteen years ago, that would be weird. And if you were doing the exact same thing you were doing fifteen years ago you’d be bored out of your skull.

2) Give them a reason to care what you think. If you think that they’re destroying the art form, why should they care? Are they having fun making new friends and earning money doing what they love and delighting audiences with their aesthetic? Are you considering paying to get into their shows? WHY should they care what you think?


There's lots more at Pincurl Magazine!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

21st Century Burlesque Top 50 Poll Results!



If you'd like to see what some of the most recognized performers in our community do, check out the Top 50 Burlesque online poll on 21st Century Burlesque. There are lots of links to articles and videos for inspiration and research!

http://21stcenturyburlesque.com/


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Inspiration Post: The Muppets



It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

It's time to put on makeup
It's time to dress up right
It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight.

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/themuppetshowlyrics.html

When I saw The Muppet Show as a kid, all I wanted to do was be a part of the backstage life. My understanding of showbiz personalitty archetypes and the community they could create came from watching the interactions between creatures made of felt, ping pong ball eyes, and ostrich trim.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dDljd_7Yq0



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

Also, I love skits and parodies, and when the Muppets do it, it's almost too good to be true. Basically, every second of the above video makes me have to pee.

There are a lot of valuable tips for performers from the Muppets. Below, a reminder to check the lyrics of your song for actual content, not just the title:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV4F46N21PA

Friday, January 4, 2013

Inspiration Post: Miss Indigo Blue




From Indigo's Facebook:

Just found my 2007 intention statement:
My intention is to: fulfill my divine purpose to exemplify embodied femininity; empower and support people to transform themselves and live their own passions; positively impact peoples' feelings about their bodies and their sexuality; experience satisfaction, pleasure and amusement while living tri-continentally; produce funny, meaningful, political, and entertaining art.

I just stole this without her permission because if I ask her, it'll take forever. You know how you can get things done in two seconds with strangers, but it takes forever to do it with a friend? So you know.

Indigo was the Headmistress and Founder of the Seattle Academy of Burlesque shortly before I opened the School of Burlesque, and no one has been a bigger influence on my approach to and mission for NYSB. While working on the development of a program of education for The Burlesque Hall of Fame, she suggested we develop an education weekender, and Burlycon was born.



These inspiration posts are short because, actually, I'm supposed to be finishing a book proposal for a commercial mass-market gift book right now, and I have to be responsible about that fun but demanding project. I hope the posts inspire you to think about your inspirations!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Inspiration Post: World Famous *BOB*

World Famous Bob by Jo Weldon
World Famous Bob, a photo by Jo Weldon on Flickr.
World Famous *BOB* teaches Ultimate Self Confidence at The New York School of Burlesque, as well as Loving The Body You're In with Legs Malone. She's full of pith and vinegar, and recently she posted this awesome message on Facebook, and I'm pleased to share it here as well. Enjoy!


New to Burlesque? Wanna be? My advice follows:
Right away my advice for anyone starting in Burlesque is:
1. Know the history- research Burlesque and the women that came before you. The only way we can create the future of anything in a responsible way is by honoring its past.
2. Don't be jealous or competitive- if you are truly original then there is no competition! (sigh* what a relief!)
3. Lead by example- be the person you would want to share a backstage with- be the performer you would want to see- and always respect that others may have a different approach to it all.
4. Take lessons- whether it's acting, dance, butoh, or ballet- you're only as good as the time you put in.
5. The second it's not what you want to do anymore stop.
6. Do not expect to make a living doing it- it is VERY popular and there are only so many seats on the tour bus. It does not mean that you will not- just don't go into thinking you will. Most full time professional performers, myself included, do A LOT of artistic things to pay the bills. Catherine D'Lish, Dirty DirtyMartini Martini, Dita Von Tease, Julie Atlas Muz are a few of the talented but also lucky ones that do just Burlesque for the most part. Costumes, classes, and travel cost $.
7. Follow your heart.
8. Respect women and cheer them on- including yourself- Diva's are lonely people.
9. I will leave you with my personal onstage mantra:
"Wig on,
Chin up,
Heels High,
Move Forward!"-World Famous *BOB*
That is what I say when I have a job to do and need super hero powers to do it. I teach at The New York School of Burlesque and would love to see you in class.
Until Then- Love & Poodles,
World Famous *BOB*

Inspiration: Yoko Ono

When I think about some of my inspirations, I often think that they're not very visible in my work. Sometimes what informs a given number remains in it as an energy rather than an emulation of a style or technique. However, it's also true that a great deal of my work has actually been seen by very few people or by nonburlesque audiences. I have a history of numbers I no longer do, or I perform one-offs in shows that aren't photographed or filmed. While my more traditional numbers--which represent some of my most passionate expression of my belief in striptease as a standalone art form--are the ones I perform most frequently and are the most documented, I've done tons of performances and readings that look nothing like that.



Yoko Ono, artist, activist, icon, and iconoclast, is probably one of the least visible influences in my  burlesque work, though she's always there in my idea of the radical female who doesn't hesitate to make a statement in the nude.

http://imaginepeace.com/archives/17743

Above:Yoko Ono in hotpants.


http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x3dsvy">

/>http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3dsvy_yoko-ono-cut-piece_shortfilms" target="_blank">YOKO ONO CUT PIECE by http://www.dailymotion.com/TECHNOLOGOS" target="_blank">TECHNOLOGOS
Above: Yoko Ono's Cut Piece. When I was a feature dancer I did a fetish number that ended with fire, but before I handled fire I had audience members cut off me a red body stocking, piece by piece. I didn't sit passively, I addressed the audience members and guided them, but it was directly inspired by Cut Piece.

I'm also constantly inspired by her open emotions, which she exposes without guile whether her heart is bursting with love or fear. I went to see her in concert three years ago, and she danced and sang and told wonderful stories and had guest artists sing some of her songs. It was even more exciting because some of my other inspirations were performing with her, but I would have gone to see her alone.



Above: Bette Midler sings Yes, I'm Your Angel



Above: Justin Bond Sings What a Bastard the World Is

I have a lot of Yoko Ono inspired pieces in my mind--I could probably do a one-woman girl-on-girl show of me doing all my Yoko-thievery, if I could change between acts quickly enough to keep the audience awake.

One of my favorite of Yoko's works involved her having people climb up a ladder with a magnifying glass to read a word on the ceiling. The word was YES. I'd like to be at the top of a ladder, grinning like Humpty Dumpty, and have people climb up with a speculum and tweezers, and have each of them pull a piece of paper out of my vagina, on which would be the word YES.

Yoko is controversial in a lot of ways, but my appreciation of her work is simple. If you're thinking, "What the hell, really, YOKO ONO?" her Wiki article is a great place to start to get to know her. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoko_Ono

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Inspiration: Students

"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few." 
 ~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Above: Former students performing at a Coney Island USA benefit.



Above: Students kicking ass on an MTV news piece with Angel Pai


The truth is, sometimes I get very burned out on some aspects of burlesque. When people argue about who should be allowed on which stage, and who is bringing down burlesque, and who does and doesn't deserve credit for what, the discussions can really take the wind out of my sails. I prize audacity, enthusiasm, and sincerity above Big Art, or anything that starts to become capitalized in the many ways that things can be capitalized for possession of some real or imaginary field: financial, cultural, artistic, academic, etc. Who did what first? Who does what the best? What's real burlesque? Who gets to say? Who gets into the show and who doesn't? I just don't care who was the first person to do a burlesque show downtown in NYC, honestly, except to say thank you. I don't care who gets credit for having the best dance ability or the fanciest headdress or the funniest nerdy reference. But every time I start to think that the stuff that gets to me is the bigger part of the burlesque experience, I'm proved wrong by an open hearted bawdy show or an experience with a student, such as the following email (the student said she is happy to have me post it but doesn't wish to be identified):

A million thanks to you, Gal Friday, and Jezebel Express for an amazing experience these past four weeks. When I wrote to you asking to be wait listed for this essential burlesque series, it was because I was afraid that if I didn't jump, I would lose my nerve. Thank you for hear...ing the desperation in my tone and making room for a straggler. It was the best money I've spent in years.

As I mentioned in class, I took this series without any real plans --I just wanted to be around women like me, in an environment that celebrated my version of beauty, over the top and unapologetically bedazzled. I thought it would be an indulgence that would temporarily numb and distract from some recently opened up wounds. I didn't expect to learn as much as I did. 

 
I exit your class realizing that beauty comes from action, from how you make people feel, and what you give out. For so many years I looked at the idea of "beauty on the inside" as placating folk wisdom, or some kind of passive aggressive admonition against vanity. But all three instructors stressed having an internal dialogue when you dance, and that was a major turning point. When my classmates were thinking about their bodies, and how much they enjoyed them, and we danced with that awareness of sharing...I looked around, and every woman in that room was gorgeous. Honestly. Truly. Not in a vapid, empty compliment way, not even in a "standards of beauty are culturally mediated and useless way". By the most base, instinctual, reflexive, shallow standard you could think of---they were all beautiful.

This might be common knowledge to most people, but it never really sunk in with me. I can't promise that 35 years of self esteem issues were cured in four weeks, but I absolutely feel like I have a powerful tool I didn't have before. Every risk you take, every time you put yourself out on a line, every time you surrender to being exactly who you are, you fortify some inner reserve of light that is more powerful and more transformative than anything MAC, or Madison Avenue, can sell.

Thank you for your kindness, your inspiration, and for the invaluable lesson that beauty is really a verb. :) I wish you nothing but the best!

It's true--I care more about the hearts and minds of students than the future of the art form. Because if the hearts and minds of the students aren't fed, the art form becomes nothing but incestuous, self-congratulating, self-referential, and self-aggrandizing. Here's to both the steak and the sizzle that students bring to the table!

Below: The bold and brilliant students of Pink Light Burlesque.

Direct Link to Pink Light Burlesque Video


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm going to devote January to inspiration.

My first post is about my long-time friend Lily Burana, author of Strip City, a book that said everything I ever wanted said about working in strip joints--the good, the bad, the nights of shame, the the shameless pleasures, the money, the sexy, the everything it takes to understand what it's really like.

Although I had heard about Lily and was fascinated by her portrait in Annie Sprinkle's Post-Modern Pin-up Pleasure Activist Play Cards, I didn't meet her until we were on the set of Debra Devi's video "Take It Off," the opening for Jill Morley's incredible documentary, Stripped.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kyoYL6uJD8

Everyone I've mentioned in this post is a huge inspiration, so be sure to click on all the links, but I thought of Lily in particular today because of this post today on Salon.com, in which Lily says:

"Here’s what I know, this New Year, for sure: Darlings, it’s later than you think. Always. But there’s still plenty of time. Slip the red dress from the hanger. Tuck the silk flower behind your ear. Hide the scale and head out the door. The rest of your one and only life is waiting."

In the article, she talks about worrying how she'll look in a red dress at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender. Here's how we looked:

Photo by Jonny Porkpie
 
Do it--wear the red dress!