Showing posts from 2019

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 in Dallas where I got my star…

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 Project! Full…

The 14th Annual Follies Fromage at Coney Island USA!

Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 9:30pm New York's Newest Strip Cheese! Hungry? Restless? Craving savory repletion? You need more culture in your life! Come see burlesque at its dairy best, starring the freshest cream of the crop of our scene. You will never see a grater show. Students of Coney Island's Master Class in Burlesque will perform 11 original debut routines! We've been keeping burlesque cheesy for over a decade now! This show is notorious for encouraging performers to create innovative and absurd acts on the fly. Featuring: Charlotta Burrata Darlina Extraordinaire Juno Stardust Lovey Boheme Miss Anne Mary Miss Ruby Pavlova Rocky Sourpop Tabby Twitch Tempest Whip Velvet DeLorean Zozo Smacks Hosted by Headmistress Jo Boobs Weldon Special guest stars: Miss Coney Island 2017 Tiger Bay Miss Coney Island 2019 Pearls Daily 18 to enter. 21+ with proper I.D. to drink.

Interview with Desire D'Amour, Burlesque Pioneer

There are a few people I've known in burlesque over many ups and downs, through all its changes, as we've watched changes both welcome and unwelcome in the art form we fell in love with over two decades ago. Desire D'Amour is one of them. I've been wanting to interview her for a long time, not only because she's one of the smartest, funniest, most passionate people I know, but because I often find her contribution to burlesque is under-represented. She's not one to promote herself on social media, though she can be found there; she just quietly, thoroughly, consistently, gets shit done.
I'm excited for you to get to know her better!

Jo Weldon: When and how did you get into burlesque?

Desire D'Amour: I was a club stripper for several years. I had recently quit and started working in an office job, but I missed some things about stripping – picking music, creating the right costume, interacting with the crowd and, of course, being on the stage. I was still d…

Camille 2000, Rest In Power

Above: Archival photos of Camille

Above: Photo by Marie Baronnet
“Burlesque legend Camille 2000 (Camille Sands) passed away today after a lengthy battle with cancer. “The Girl for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” was awarded our 2019 Living Legend Award for her contribution to burlesque. Her work, like her signature "Marquis de Sade" act, consistently pushed against and expanded the boundaries of the art. More than that, she was an active supporter of today's neo-burlesque performers, with a vocal online presence and a steady stream of performances at festivals and local events. She will be deeply missed.” --From The Burlesque Hall of Fame, July 28, 2019
Somewhere on my old phone I have photos from a few years ago of Camille in the bathroom at the Orleans Hotel shoving redhots down the back of my pants. If I find them, I'll add them, but for now I'm sure you can enhance this memory gloriously in your imagination.
My birthday twin, Camille 2000, was as fiery as a L…

My Birthday Party Show at Coney Island!

Lots of bangin' burlesque from Boo Bess, Cheeky Lane, Fem Appeal, Gal Friday, Jonny Porkpie, Twatley Crue, Veronica Viper, gogo and stage kittening by Quantum Physique, student troupe The Titillations, and special reading by Slutist Kristen Korvette from her upcoming book CatCall! 
Plus I'll be hosting and telling sordid stories of my years as a stripper and groupie in the 1980s.
Not your usual night of burlesque -- this is a one-time-only event!
Details and Tickets

Making a Great First Impression with Your Bio

Above: Gypsy Rose Lee's memoir.

Do you hate writing your bio? Everybody does! But I've done it many many times, for myself as well as for others, and there are ways to make it easier.

Your bio serves several functions. In an application, it helps to convince producers you're interesting or qualified. In show promotion, it gives press interview topics and it makes potential audience members curious to see you. During production, it gives the emcee something to say about you before you perform. Thinking about these functions helps you understand what to put into your bio. It's not a resume or CV; it's a snapshot of you, an entertaining teaser about your style. It's ideal if it's fun to read, but professional and realistic. The goal is to get people interested.

Quick summary 1-10:

1) Write it in the third person.

2) Since this is a general bio, write it about you rather than about your character or persona, unless you have a specific reason to write it in cha…

What Makes a Legend?

Top: Toni Elling by Mike Albov. Below: Camille 2000 by Camille 2000

Camille 2000 and Toni Elling are both in hospice right now. We have lost so many of our legends, and this is a hard day.

Correction — Toni is not in hospice but is under care.  
A burlesque legend is a gift to us all. There have been many discussions about what a burlesque legend is, what eras they should have worked in, what experiences they should have had, what recognition they should have received before they earn the appellation. I understand these concerns and would be willing to have conversations about those details another time (though emphatically not now, at this time I will delete or refuse to respond). Either you get it or you don’t. What’s important to me right now is not what a legend is, but how a legend is. I made a list of just a few of the qualities I have admired in many of our legends, and why they are so important to me.
Irreplaceable History. Legends know what it was like to perform burlesque i…

I Wish We All Were Nude -- Remembering Prince

I Wish We All Were Nude  By Jo Weldon
Photo: Prince on the $19.99 dollar bill. Source unknown.
Also, me in my feature dancer days, photographed by the late great J. Stephen Hicks. Thinking of my stripper sisters on Prince's birthday. This is an article I wrote when I heard he had passed.

I’ve been stripping for decades, and I’ve literally–and by a large margin–made more money dancing naked to music by Prince than by any other single artist. 

I started working in strip joints in 1980, at the age of 18. I was eager to get out of my parents’ house and start living the sex drugs and rock n roll life of my dreams. Stripping was certainly a fast track to all of that. Who knows why we want what we want? Lots of people experienced similar influences to mine, similar traumas and privileges, and didn’t want the same. But I knew what I wanted and was hellbound from the minute I got my first set of car keys. 

I got my chops in Atlanta, which even at the time had an above-average per capita n…