Showing posts from 2019

Where A Fist Ends And A Nose Begins

I talk to hundreds of people about their ideas for burlesque acts, and I have to talk to them about cultural appropriation all the time. Having had so many of these conversations, I've reached a conclusion: cultural appropriation isn't always the problem. To be sure, cultural appropriation is as much of a problem as many people say it is, and I absolutely do not endorse it, and won't knowingly help anyone develop an act that I understand to be appropriative. However, I think the issue -- and the range of accountability -- is much, much bigger. I've started to use the term "cultural sensitivity," a term I learned while studying decolonizing fashion history . Cultural sensitivity includes understanding and eschewing cultural appropriation, but it includes so much more. A simple example is the Confederate flag. For a white southerner whose ancestors fought under that flag in the US civil war to wear a costume that incorporates it is NOT cultural appropriat

Online Classes with NYSB Instructors!

We have hours of streaming classes online! Search the site for “burlesque”

Feline Friday: BurlyCon Flashback!

I'm still recovering from the awesomeness that was BurlyCon 2019. I'm a co-founder and the Vice-President of BurlyCon, and we spend all year working to make it great. While every year is amazing, this year was possibly the best yet! It was also one of the fiercest! I've been creating leopard print gatherings for years now, but at BurlyCon it's just a natural presence -- I spotted it everywhere! If you didn't get to send me a pic when I posted in the BurlyCon message board, send me one now! I want to see all your leopard -- although this post is just for people who wore leopard print at BurlyCon 2019. If you missed sending me one before this post, I may be able to add it! Email First, check out me with some of the stylish attendees of my Fierce: The History of Leopard Print lecture! <3 a="" add="" an="" and="" at="" board="" burlycon="" but="" c

Get the Gig!

Want to learn more about how to get gigs in burlesque? Want to be every producer's favorite hire? Jo Weldon has written a 36-page booklet that's all about it -- and it's FREE for NYSB students and readers of this blog! Learn how to please producers, work with emcees, apply for festivals, and more! Approach venues and press prepared to negotiate. Includes several of Jo's most popular articles and an easy system for organizing your music, bios, and photos to make everything easier. To get your copy, open a new email window and put the words "NYSB STUDENT REQUESTING BOOKLET" into the subject line. You'll receive a printable PDF file in return. #getthegig Photo of Jo by Maggie Saniewska

Friday Flashback! “If you want to enjoy your community, be willing to find inspiration in your generation, the generations before you, and the generations after you. Respect works best as a two-way street. If you don’t respect the pioneers of your art form, you’re setting the standard for disrespect of pioneers and setting yourself up to become a has-been when the new breed after you accomplishes things and establishes themselves. If you don’t respect the new breed, you’re setting the standard for exclusivity and alienation and setting yourself up to become a has-been when the new breed after you accomplishes things and establishes themselves. Be secure in yourself, respect everybody’s ambition and accomplishments, and live and work in the present. “And finally–yes, somebody is always ruining burlesque. It’s been ruined a million times. Histories of burlesque usually detail its demise — over and over and over. Your perception that burlesque is being destroyed is accura

Interview with Lola Love, Executive Director at BurlyCon

I'm thrilled to present an interview with the incredible Lola Love! She became Executive Director at BurlyCon in 2018, but she had been contributing more than her share of initiative and hard work before that. We are lucky to have her and I can't wait for you to get to know more about her. Jo: When and how did you become interested in burlesque? Lola Love: I didn’t discover burlesque until 2003 or 2004. Believe it or not, living in rural Hawaii, I stumbled across the suicide girls because I was at a friends who was watching it. I think it was a documentary. I remember thinking it was really cool and I was super intrigued. I was a new mom at the time and I didn’t immediately think “I want to do that” but it was filed away in my brain and I knew it was an art form I was curious to learn more about.  What is your performance experience? I’ve been performing since I was a kid. I was a cheerleader and danced throughout high school.  As an adult I continued to danc

Feline Friday: Interview with Icky Muffin, 2018 Best Boylesquer at The Burlesque Hall of Fame, Cat Video Lover

As a cat lover, I seek out my fellow feline fanatics to interview for my blog. Since my blog is about the burlesque I experience, they are often people with whom I've become friends over time, some for decades, some much more recently. Enjoy this Feline Fridays interview with Icky Muffin! While his rhinestoned leopard print socks and heels caught my eye on the lobby carpet at the Orleans Hotel,  it turns out he's as dazzling in the air as on the ground -- and that year he took home one of the most coveted awards in the world of burlesque, Best Boylesque, with his incredible bratty cat routine. While some folks worry that the BHoF competition is getting too orthodox, he proved that you can play with a roll of toilet paper onstage and still take home the trophy. See this complete performance at Jo: Where are you located, and where do you perform the most? Icky: I currently live in Austin Texas, but most of my performances are

Tips for Tuesday: Book Recommendation

My friend Colleen Scott  recently published her book Costumes of Burlesque and you need it!  It’s a gorgeous book! shows many costumes from the history of burlesque in vivid detail and gives context for the ways they were used. Since I’m involved in burlesque I’m very aware that burlesque costumes happen in layers, and this book does a magnificent job of showing all the details of those layers.  The stages of striptease are documented in fabulous step by step images that help readers visual the costumes in performance.  It’s such a fun technique! It also shows burlesque costumes as they really are, not just the gowns — though the gowns are there, in glamorous full color.  The chapters on neo burlesque illuminate the current scene with several  of its best known stars.  It’s an invaluable tool for studying burlesque, costume, theater, gender in performance, and the ways underground cultures affect mainstream fashion and vice versa.  And check out her other book, The Pastie Proje