Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are ya still with me folks??

Well, good! Because we have a LOT coming your way... I'd hate for you to miss it!

New blogs from Vinny, myself, and a newcomer - Dr. Skotch, the legendary drunk phsyician from Denton, TX! He promised to sober up slightly long enough to write down his thoughts and ideas on classic burlesque and how to choose music - stay tuned for that!

ALSO - my production team would like to FORMALLY ANNOUNCE that we will be bringing boylesque to Dallas! Yes, sir! We've got not one, but TWO tassle twirling Hottie McHotties coming your way... just WAIT 'til you see where they put thier tassles. :) Keep Dec. 13th clear in your books...

Stay Tuned!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Burlesque Joke!

"What do you call merkins in a merkin store?"


Sent in by: Lauren Hirsch, Studio Art major and Burlesque enthusiast in Denton, TX

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been too long, hasn't it? Please welcome Lola van Ella!

My lovely readers, you know that back in September I went to the NOLA Burlesque Fest with my friend Cayla of Decadent Dame Designs, and we had a BLAST! We met so many wonderful people, and it gave me determination that I WILL perform there next year! One gal I didn't get to meet, because she was just so darn BUSY! She performed in the Queen of Burlesque competition, as well as the Late Night bash with her new troope, AND the Sunday night BustOut Show!


Lola van Ella is an international burlesque singer, dancer, producer and instructor. In St. Louis she produces the St. Louis Burlesque Showcase and runs her troupe The Bon-Bons and their monthly retro, live band revue. She is also the instructor for her weekly, "Everything Burlesque" classes and has been teaching for nearly 3 years. Lola has performed for thousands of people, from coast to coast and has recently finished a tour of Europe and received 2nd runner up in the Queen of Burlesque competition in the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. All of this and more has garnered this saucy chanteuse a lot of attention and the tagline, "The Derriere Beyond Compare!"

1.) What got you into burlesque?

I usually say that I didn't get into burlesque, but that burlesque got into me! I have always performed as a singer, actress, dancer and voiceover artist. However, about 6 years ago I was asked by a local theater company to sing an original, saucy little song and choreograph a reverse strip to it. It was like I was doing burlesque without knowing it. I hear this a lot actually in the burlesque community. Then about a year later, I was performing in a jazz cabaret and a friend of mine told me about a new show that had started here in St. Louis called The Alley Cat Revue. I went to check it out, and saw a really rough show with no emcee, very few lights, basic costumes, but a lot of potential. I started the next week. Of course, the show got better and better, and became the only weekly burlesque revue in St. Louis for over 4 years.

2.) How long have you been performing? Been a producer?

Performing most of my life, but doing the burlesque, strip thing for about 5 years. I've been producing a little over 3.

3.) What do you find most difficult about wearing different "hats"? What's the most rewarding?

Remembering which hat I'm wearing! :) It can be really hard at times, because I have to wear the teacher hat, the producer hat, and the performer/peer hat, and often have to switch them frequently, some times in the course of an evening. I have to try to keep really solid lines drawn. When it's business time, I have to be in charge and direct and produce and lead, but shortly after that, hopefully, it's cocktail time and then we're all just gossipy and flirty and lovey with each other. Luckily, I work with some amazing people who really seem to understand those lines very well. I am also fortunate to work with and have a troupe that is full of lovely ladies I would call family. That is incredibly rewarding. Also, getting to see my students perform after months of hard work and perseverance is really inspiring and fantastic.


4.) You were a featured performer at the first annual NOLA Burlesque fest this pst September! What was it like dancing in the Queen showcase?

Nerve wracking! I am usually not a nervous person (stressed, at times, yes, but not usually nervous), but the day of the show was so intense for me! I have never had nerves like that. On top of that, I woke up really early for a radio interview that day, then had to rehearse with the band, then taught a workshop, and then had to immediately get all gussied up for the show. I thought I would be sick! However, it was also one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life. I also got to spend time with some of the most incredible and beautiful women I've ever met. It was such an honor to share the stage with every single one of them; that itself was reward enough. But then to place with Catherine D'Lish and my dear friend, Perle Noire! Wow! I cried like a bride :)

5.) How did you decide to open up the STL charter of r. Sketchy's?

Well, this is actually the 2nd incarnation of STL Sketchy's. It was originally started a couple years ago by some lovely people, and I was the first model and helped them get it off the ground. After about 6 months or so, the original people had to stop running it, and so Sketchy's St. Louis kind of died for a bit. About a year ago, my friend, and local artist Tom Huck of Evil Prints decided to bring it back. I can't really draw to save my life (unless of course they're crayon drawings of flowers and fairies and suns wearing sunglasses), but I also can't stand seeing something so cool just stagnate. I figured if no one else would start it, I would! We now have monthly sessions at Evil Prints, which is an amazing place to hold a drawing club, and we're having a ball!

5.) You are such a busy gal! How do you keep your head on straight? Tell us one of your secrets to sanity!

I am so lucky to have wonderful, real people around me that help keep me sane. I also take lots of walks in the park where I live. I definitely believe in the power of endorphins, and fresh air really does wonders. Teaching my weekly dance class really centers me too. It's always fun, and I always leave renewed in my resolve and passion to keep going.

6.)Do you believe in magic?

Why, yes! Sometimes, I believe that I am magic and that I have mystical seductive powers, and that throwing around glitter and rhinestones is like waving a magic wand. ;)