This is Jo Weldon's New-York-Based Blog About Burlesque with Original Articles, Striptease Tips, Interviews, Class Announcements, News, Photo Posts, Peeks into Performers' Closets, and More. You can ask a question, request an article about a topic, or book Jo to teach, host, or perform by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . See schoolofburlesque.com for class schedule, or book a private session now through email.
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!
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.
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.
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 weeken…
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'…
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.
"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.
http://www.youtube.com/embed/gsJ3vZ_uJfM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Direct YouTube Link
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…
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.