a night full of burlesque!
April 25, 2010
It was a pretty jam-packed weekend so far, but to save y’all having to read a super long entry, I will break Friday and Saturday into two different posts (though in my mind it has all been one big roller coaster).
I left work early on Friday to take my 2 hour commute home where I had about 15 minutes to change from mellow work clothes into a retro glam outfit for my night of burlesque. Huffing and puffing, I quickly tried to curl my hair (no luck) and head out the door to catch the 5 train. I very carefully did my makeup on the subway, and got out at the 14th st station, where I quickly ran to Quad Cinema for a special showing of Behind the Burly-Q. This documentary follows burlesque (burlesk) as it grew in popularity during the 40′s via vaudeville and thrived during WWII till its sad downfall into the late 60′s-70′s. The stories are told by the performers that actually lived it including Dixie Evans, Tempest Storm, and April March plus many others. Even if you are not into burlesque, the film is fascinating just from a historical perspective and gives insight into a world of performers that they previously did not get to speak out.
The movie was followed by a quick Q&A with the director, Leslie Zemeckis, and April March (with her daughter and granddaughter in tow). This weekend was the US premiere of the movie, and I have no idea how far screenings might go, but if you have the possibility of seeing it, I highly recommend it!
After the movie, I met up with my friends and we headed down to Coney Island for the kickoff of Burlesque at the Beach. Since I had been rushed to get to the movie, I took my time in the car putting on my mini fishnets and heels so I’d be ready for the show.
Wasabassco had put together the show for the night and it starred the reigning Miss Coney Island 2010, Miss Gigi La Femme as well as Nasty Canasta, Melody Sweets, Keith Bastard and Snake Charmer Nikki Le Villain, plus Sizzle Dizzle and Jenny C’est Quoi stage kittened (picked up after the performer, kind of like a stage crew with more face time). The show had a great energy and a friend from my burlesque choreography class (Cheeky Lane) showed up. The show centered around Coney Island and side shows, but brought some other amazing and creative burlesque to the stage.
Earlier in the week I had emailed Doc to find out how I could eventually join Wasabassco when I felt more comfortable and had an act ready. He told me that he typically books performers he has seen before and that many performers get their start by volunteering and kittening so they can get some backstage experience. He did say that he was also considering putting together a show of first time performers so I should introduce myself at the show and we could discuss things further. Fast forward to after the show, with me all smiles and excitement from just seeing some high quality acts. I eventually make my way up to Doc and reach out for a handshake.
“Hi, I’m Danielle. You told me I should introduce myself to you.” He shook back, “Indeed you should! So you read the email and what did you think?” I kind of stammered out something about how I completely understand and am interested in volunteering for Wasabassco in the future sometime. ”Well, what are you doing next friday?” he asked with a grin. I look back, shocked “possibly going to a burlesque show?!?” ”Fantastic, how about you stage kitten with Sizzle Dizzle then?” I nodded and thanked him and kind of walked off in a daze. It was mind blowing to think that less than a month ago I had gotten my first dose of burlesque and now in a week I will actually be on a burlesque stage during a show! The rest of the night was a blur with me reeling from the excitement. Oh my gawd, so much to do in one week, and I don’t even have a stage name yet!?!