Tag Archives: Burlesque

Before the Booty Bounce

8 Apr

My Top 10 backstage songs:

10. Burning Down the House – Talking Heads

9.You Got a Killer Scene There Man – Queen’s of the Stone Age

8. Rearview Mirror – Pearl Jam

7. Shimmy Shimmy Ya – Ol Dirty Bastard

6. Shake It Fo Yo Hood – Ricky B

5. Whore Hoppin’ – Eagles of Death Metal

4. I got to Use my Imagination – Gladys Knight & The Pips

3. Hey Fuck You – Beastie Boys

2. Nasty – Spank Rock

1. Excuse – Big Freedia

Advertisements

Dirty Martini

29 Mar

On March 15th I was delighted to present a screening of the documentary ‘Dirty Martini & the New Burlesque’ adorned with performances from Lilly Laudanum, Lily Belle, Lou Leigh Blue and myself, at The Cube Cinema, Bristol. I contacted Miss Dirty herself to ask if she might have a few words for the audience. What I got was a testament to what a gracious Goddess she is. Miss Dirty Martini is truly a Fairy Godmother to anyone who has ever stripped on a stage, a beautiful influence on us all.

Dirty Martini & the New Burlesque Poster

The film itself is totally inspirational and funny and I suggest that you buy it here. It was awesome to see some of New York’s finest, who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a stage with.

So, here it is, the exclusive message to The Cube, Bristol from Queen Diva (you besta believea) MISS DIRTY MARTINI!

Journey(Wo)Man

16 Jun

This year has been incredible. It started with me dancing at all kinds of shows in the UK. But then, something changed. There was this shift in me, I think it was about February, when everything changed. Everything got bigger, more vibrant, colours got brighter. I tried to sit tight, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t in me any more. I talk and talk about the love I have for Burlesque and all that it stands for, but I wasn’t really doing it. So, I changed it.

As of Friday 13th May, I quit my admin day job. I commemorated it at Broad Street Studios.

Courtesy of Marcos Attwood

Lucky Number 13

I spent the rest of May back in my adopted city, New Orleans, getting inspired and drinking too much Gin. I drove to Austin and was lucky enough to perform with the gracious and beautiful Five B Pin-Ups.

Backstage at Elysium with badass Texas Mamas

It felt so good, y’all. This is the kind of freedom I’ve been striving for. I’m not going to lie. This is everything I want, everything I’ve worked hard for, everything I want for the future,  but this shit don’t come easy. My new hardcore drive has taken my focus away from friendships and even my marriage. It’s a tricky tightrope and I sure as hell haven’t perfected yet. Maybe balance is possible, or maybe you just can’t have it all. I don’t know yet.

I’ve got a load of awesome and exciting shows coming up in the UK over the rest of the summer, then, and this totally blows my mind and rocks my world, I’ll be dancing in New York City at the end of September/beginning of October. If I solve the mysteries of life in that time, I’ll be sure to pass that on.

If you’d like to help me spread the Laveau love in New York and help a sister out, buy one of my Tuesday Laveau T-shirts. They’re ₤16/$20. The design is by the super talented Marcos Attwood who you should really get tattooed by. I ship with love, just drop me a line TuesdayLaveau@googlemail.com.

Tuesday Laveau T-shirt Design

 

Boylesque Boom

22 Feb

A journalist from Harlot Magazine asked me for my thoughts on Boylesque, this is what I sent her:

British Burlesque has been booming for the last few years, and one of the most interesting sub-genres has been Boylesque. I wouldn’t event call it a sub-genre any more, but simply a part of the Burlesque scene. When the word Burlesque came to mean Strip-Tease in America in the 1940’s and 50’s, men had an integral part to the stage show. They were the comedians and the straight men, telling bawdy jokes while the stage was cleared or the scenery altered. They kept the crowd hot and ready for the next bump and grinder to take to the stage. Men like Bozo Lord and Happy Hyatt. From the 90’s to now, New York has led the scene with MCs/Performers like Scotty the Blue Bunny towering in 7 inch stripper shoes and a blue lycra bunny suit.

 

Scotty the Blue Bunny

 

 

This is a happy reflection of New York Burlesque’s firm footing in its queer roots with Divas like Dirty Martini and World Famous *BOB*.

 

The Bodacious Dirty Martini

 

The really cool thing now is that there are men taking up striptease with Burlesque costume and timing in a step away from the whole Chippendale’s schtick, in the same way that women performers have appropriated Burlesque as a step away from the type of stripping popularised in titty bars and lap dancing clubs. Major Suttle-Tease and Buck Fast have really upped the ante not just for Boylesquers but for the whole Burlesque scene, with funny, sexy, well choreographed routines.

 

Super Fine - Buck Fast

 

 

The average Burlesque audience is 50% female and 50% male. I think that women enjoy a burlesque show for the glamour, the costumes and maybe a touch of voyerism. When you get a guy on stage to booty shake along side the rest of us, most women will notice a damn fine looking man, but he’s still got to put on a great show. Perhaps the playing field is levelled across the audience.

I teach Burlesque workshops in Bristol and I rarely get men asking to join my workshops. Truthfully, I’d be reluctant to have a man attend as the workshops are a safe, female orientated sphere for the girls to really cut loose in! I think many men have yet to realise that the stockings and corsets version of Burlesque is not the only kind and would be surprised to find that there are male Burlesque performers.

I have, however, given some one to one tuition to men and I know of other teachers who teach workshops exclusively for Drag Queens, Transexuals and Transvestites and I think that’s awesome. The men that I have taught always do it for the same reason 90% of the women I teach, they want to bust a sexy move for their partner. I guess deep down, we’re all the same.

What I would really like to see next, is more Drag King acts, that’s when the sexual boundaries we impose really start to come down! I have had the pleasure of working with New Orleans Drag King Troupe, The Crescent City Kings on a few occasions and I am always blown away by their sometimes comedic, sometimes tragic pastiche of men and women. I think that what the UK Burlesque scene needs is our own Murray Hill!

 

Murray Hill

Check out the full article at http://www.harlotmagazine.co.uk/

 

Make a Joyful Sound

13 Jan

Tonight I had the pleasure of sharing my bump and grind workshop with the wonderful women of Pomegranate Boutique (www.pomegranateboutique.co.uk). Lead by Pomegranate owner Amy, the girls shimmied, booty popped and busted some down right nasty moves for their own delectation while the Bristol rain poured down the French doors at the far end of the room.

I always enjoy teaching my workshops, quite often a student will ask a question that actually opens up some more doors to burlesque movement and theory for me as I try to find the most direct way to anwer their query.

Tonight was special, these were women with a purpose. They were there, now check this out, to have fun. Sometimes I have classes that are quite serious, they want every nano second of a shimmy explained. Sometimes the classes are about taking home a sexy routine for a partner, sometimes it’s a class that mothers, daughters and aunts can all come together for a hen do and all have a good time. This class really reminded about why I love Burlesque. Because it is joyful! The Burlesque path is long, tough and at times even lonely. But, damn, when it’s good, it’s awesome.

 

Persephone and the Pomegranate

 

 

Bringing that to a room full of women and having them reciprocate that love is a great feeling. I truly hope they all took that home with them, I know I did. Thank you Pomegranate Ladies.

Impulse Control

11 Jun

I consider myself, as I’m sure most people consider themselves, to be a decent human being. I hold doors open for those who follow me, I offer assistance to mothers struggling with strollers, I greet people I encounter through out my day with my best New Orleans, “How you doin.” I try to treat people around me with kindness and respect. These are not admirable traits, this is the way it should be. People who thinks they are good people because they are nice to waiters, are usually jerks.

I did a charity show tonight where something interesting happened. I was unveiling my new ‘Voodoo Queen’ act. As I was performing two men wearing tuxes stood down the front and held a loud conversation. I was not surprised by this as I had seen them do this to the previous performer.

Voodoo Queen

One of the men had set his drink down on the stage. I danced. The tuxedo clad men got louder. The drink stayed on the stage for the first half of my act.

Distracted by their conversation, they failed to see me shimmy up to the edge of the stage. They were still talking loudly as my leopard wedge clad foot kicked the drink off the stage.

They left. I tassel twirled. The crowd whooped and hollered.

It was a good night.

Burlesque Warrior

16 May

Sylvia Ji's Warrior Queen

In a lot of ways, this is starting to feel like war. I’m tired of being told what I am and am not. The further I go down my own burlesque path, the more self-appointed gate keepers I find. If I want your damn opinion, I will ask for it. It might also be worth considering that our professional paths may not have crossed because I’ve been busy doing bigger and better things. Maybe you’re the Peyton Place, podunk fool.

As the Hot 8 say, “I ain’t mad atcha, I got love for ya, so why won’t you let me do my thing?”

Holla at your girl! Be generous with each other! We’re all doing our own thing, so let’s spread the love around and keep our eyes on the prize.