I found out about Missy on facebook as our vegan worlds combined. Based out of D.C. we made little vegan remarks back and forth before I realized I should definitely interview her for this blog!  

Vegan Burlesque: How long have you been doing burlesque?

Missy Aggravation: I’ve been doing it for 4 years now.

VB: What first got you interested in burlesque?
I’ve been performing all my life–I started dance lessons at age 3, did theater and sketch comedy in high school, and majored in Performance Studies in college where all my performances had to do with gender and sexuality. When I saw my first burlesque show in the early 2000s I thought “I should do that!” However, it took me a long time to get there since performance and I had a break-up after college– I just needed that fire in me to perform again. Once I got my groove back I hit up my local burlesque troupe and here I am 4 years later.
VP: Which burlesque performers inspire you?
MA: Delivering the effortless sensuality of legendary burlesque performers is my current goal so Jennie Lee is particularly inspiring me right now. The legends of burlesque have so much to teach that I want to learn, whether it is by listening to them speak now or watching their old (and new!) performances on YouTube. Everyone inspires me in their own ways though and I have learned something from every performer that I’ve watched or interacted with. Of the current performers… Julie Atlas Muz, Michelle L’amour, and Dirty Martini stand out as those who I’ve learned the most by watching.
VB: Do you have a favorite venue you perform at? Is it vegan-friendly (food/drinks/etc)?
MA: I mostly perform at the Red Palace, a music and burlesque club in DC, which is not particularly vegan friendly… but the neighborhood is! You can go to Souk, Dangerously Delicious Pies, Sticky Rice, Ethiopic, or Toki Underground and get a good vegan meal before you go see a show. I also really enjoyed performing at the Windup Space in Baltimore which has an awesome Twin Peaks Red Room inspired stage.
VB: Do you have a favorite routine you’ve done?
MA: This is like choosing children! I’m currently creating my favorite routines right now so I sadly can’t pick those. I think my Audrey Horne (from Twin Peaks) number to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face was particularly inspired.
VB: How long have you been vegan?
MA: I’ve been vegan for 14 years. Next year is a big anniversary!  (Vegan Burlesque side note: CONGRATS!)
 VB What made you decide to be vegan?
MA: I was vegetarian for 5 years before I went vegan. I wanted to be veg since I was 10 when it really hit home to me how meat was made but it took me a few years to realize I could defy my parents and become vegetarian. I created an animal rights group in middle school and everything. I was inspired to become vegan on a trip when I was in college and met this 16 yo runaway vegan and I was like “Damn! If she can do it, I can do it!” I went vegan as soon as I came home and have never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made.
VB: Favorite vegan drink/food?
MA: Hummus. Not like hippie hummus, but good Middle Eastern resto hummus with freshly baked pita bread.
VB: How do you deal with the non-vegan aspects of burlesque (such as boas/feather fans)?
MA: I think having to deal with this off the bat forces one to be more creative much earlier in your burlesque career than you otherwise would be. From day one we have to look outside the box in terms of our costuming (no silk!) and other traditional burlesque elements. I’m lucky because my costume designer is my best friend of 15 years and a vegetarian. She not only knows all the tricks of good costuming but respects my ideals. If I want a custom fabric boa or fan, she can do it, as well as her amazing knowledge of all the kinds of fabric out there and their properties.
VB: If you could change one thing about burlesque, what would it be?
MA: All the non-vegan elements. Fur and feathers in particular are so cruel and it makes me weep how common they are.
 VB:  Where can we see more of you?
MA: My website is http://missyaggravation.com and I’m performing next at Capital Tassels and Tease September 14th at the Red Palace. I’ll be doing my sexy librarian number for their Back to School special!
Also, a note to other vegan burlesque performers out there, Missy and 2 other vegan performers are going to BurlyCon this year and are looking for a 4th vegan performer to room with. Interested? Email her at booking@missyaggravation.com to figure out details!

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August 16, 2011

Since the next D20 Burlesque show is fairly soon (Saturday, August 24th) I spent today walking around NY putting out postcards for the show.
Although this is a tedious task, it is fun because it gives me a chance to really walk around the city, find new stores, and get to eat delicious vegan food noms I don’t usually get to eat! Today consisted of checking up on the raffle prizes from the Compleat Strategist near Herald Square and then heading down to Union square/Bowery area and walking to various areas to drop off the postcards.  

The exciting part of the trip today was a stop at Atlas Cafe (on Bowery Between 4th and 5th ave) where I finally got to try Vegan Treats’ canollis! Danielle Konya, the head of the Vegan Treats Bakery , posted about this new addition to their list of delicious baked goods about a month ago, but since they are located in PA, and only have limited runs to NYC for certain  treats, I wasn’t sure when I would get a chance to try them.

Well, it was today.  Sitting in Atlas Cafe while reading, having just finished a vegan philly steak sandwich, sipping a Boylans root beer and then biting into one of these was definitely the pick me up I needed to finish the postcard placing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

side note: I want this

August 8, 2011

After a long night of performing, nothing feels better than a good shower to get the sweat and glitter off from writhing and grinding on stage. But what could make this experience better? Why, Magic Missile and Fireball Soaps!
check out the soaps!

Think Geek, a really really awesome store sells these charming soaps and really goes into the details to let you know that these soaps don’t contain any gross animal byproducts and are cruelty free. Here is the information they have on their page:

Magic Missile and Fireball Soaps are NOT tested on animals, and are Vegan safe.
Ingredients: Propylene Glycol (Comes from glycerol, a natural moisturizing material) Water Sodium Stearate (Natural fatty component to soap, vegetable base) Glycerin (Humectant, naturally produced during soapmaking process) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Derived from Coconut Oil, natural cleansing agent) Sorbitol (Found in ripe berries from mountain ash trees, adds creaminess) Sodium Myristate (Foaming agent from vegetable fatty acids, natural organic acid) Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (Coconut oil base, Mild surfactant) Triethanolamine (Emulsifier, made from vegetable fat) Vitamin E . No Artificial Preservatives

In my last post, Ricky commented that there is an etsy shop selling vegan ostrich feather.  I was skeptical at first thinking this would be another seller saying “well, these came off my pet ostrich, so totes vegan, right?” but looking at the site, I can see that they are crafty renditions!

check out all the colors and sizes available!

See more at Montabahn’s shop here!

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2011

HAPPY (AMERICAN) INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Heat up the grill and break out the veggie dogs and vegan grillers!

This photo was taken courtesy of Hazel Honeysuckle backstage at the Rhinestone Follies’ Patriot Dames show. My vegan spin was a glittery tulle bustle (instead of feathers) and a faux feather hat ornament created using a stolen floral decoration from a party.

Reporting from Philadelphia for this post. It’s true the “Kitsch Bitch of Brooklyn”  has been out of the city for awhile now on a little mini vacation. But first, let’s talk about the Pink Room.

I had been attending The Pink Room – David Lynch Burlesque since it’s first show.  Franny Fluffer, the mastermind behind it all, has done shows Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet.  I was invited to perform in the Wild at Heart show as well as her pre-show, FRANNY’S FLICKS, which is a movie themed show.

I love themed show, one of the reasons I now run my monthly themed D20 Burlesque shows, so this was right up my alley.  I have been a fan of Lynch, but was unfamiliar with Wild at Heart.  Luckily for me, it was on netflix watch instantly, so after one viewing, I knew the act I wanted to do….but was scared of the cost and vegan-ness of it.

In the movie, Marietta Fortune, the mother of Lula, goes through a little bit of a freakout and slathers herself in red lipstick. Quirky, bizarre, strange – all the makings of the ideas I go for in an act! But how was I to find a vegan lipstick that I could buy several of to make sure I covered my face without breaking the bank? The kind I currently use, Urban Decay in Revolution red  is great, but kind of costly to use a whole tube on my hand and face.  Come to the rescue the veganpeople forums over on LiveJournal! For those of you who may not know of Livejournal, it was a sort of online journal/blog site that came out in 1999 and I used to use it  throughout college to post photos before facebook was a thing most colleges could even get.  But anyway, although a lot of the site has been taken over by russians, the vegan forums are still pretty active and a great sounding board for questions on all kinds of stuff. I ask for an inexpensive red vegan lipstick, and find out Wet n’ Wild is vegan, at least according to PETA, so I trusted it.  Awesome, act inspiration identified, supplies secured, and off to perform!

Diane Ladd in the famous lipstick scene from Wild At Heart

me doing my Marietta Fortune burlesque tribute. Copyright Monty Leman http://www.lemanphoto.com/

   So after that night (which was last Wednesday, May 25th) and the ridiculous sell out show of D20 Burlesque’s Lovecraft show (which will be another post), plus finishing the burlesque play I was in, it was time for a little vacation.  My partner and I packed our bags and headed down to Sea Isle City, NJ for a few days.  After living in NYC for so long, it felt strange to go to restaurants where there are no vegetarian, let alone vegan, menu items. It is a beach town, so everything was seafood packed, but I was lucky enough to talk to chefs and get things made and we even found an ice cream place that had a non-dairy rasberry sorbet which I devoured while my mild sunburn heals. It was great to spend time tanning, playing games and just walking along the beach at night.

yes that is (blackbird pizzeria's) vegan pizza and OMG it is as good as it looks!

Now we are in Philadelphia for a few days, and I am just waiting until the next meal.  Last night we dined at Horizons, one of my favorite places in Philly, because soon they will be changing locations and getting rid of some of our favorite menu items.  Today we visit Satellite cafe for some vegan bagel options, probably Kingdom of Vegetarians/New Harmony for lunch (omg, vegan dim sum!) and the blackbird pizzeria for dinner, my favorite vegan pizza and cheeze steak place!  That plus lots of board games and kitten cuddles at the house we are staying at, I am feeling totally recharged!

This has been a very hectic burlesque  couple of weeks.  Besides gearing up for D20 Burlesque this Friday and a double performance at last night at Franny’s FLICKS/The Pink Room – Wild At Heart (this one I’ll post about in the future!), I have been in a burlesque play.

the burlesque act I'm in during the show

It’s true, I have already done half the performances. I wanted to update about this earlier but I lost track of time and now I only have tonight, friday and Saturday left,  but oh well, now I have some production photos to show!

This is my first burlesque play and it has been an interesting experience.  The show consists of two parts, a full on play with a few burlesque acts mixed in and then the second part (after intermission) is a short burlesque show.

The show is a modern take on Hansel and Gretel and includes things like sex trafficking and sweatshops.  In the show I play the character of “Mom” which is pretty funny since a good amount of my lines have to do with disliking vegetarians! This becomes especially funny when I discovered that I am the only veg*n in the cast!

The show has been a lot of work, but not in a bad way.  Between practices and the amount of time it takes to do hair and makeup so many times over, it really adds up to a lot of time.  I’m really proud of the show though, and hope the remaining 3 productions go well.  And for fun, here is a picture of what I look like when I get home from the shows at night, usually around midnight!

If you are interested in coming to see the play, here is the information:

Location
WOW Cafe Theatre

59-61 East 4th Street
New York, NY

Created By

More Info
Ticketing link
http://fabnyc.org/calendar.php?month=5&year=2011&ctype=month&type=event&mids[0]=17

A light and exciting new comedy that lampoons the politics, questions our complacency and brings this old tale to life. A night of laughter and bawdiness!

Who said adults couldn’t enjoy fairy tales?

Starring: Anja Keister, Jessica Cermak, , Lorraine La Prade, Nicolette Dixon, Sir Real, Sweet Lorraine

Today on facebook someone linked an amazing corset.  Now, along with this corset being beautiful, it was amazing to me because of the company that made it.  Purrfect Pineapple s is a cruelty-free lingerie company that makes bras, underwear, garters, corsets and accessories.  Along with their etsy site, they have a webstore where you can see a much larger selection of their wares, including ones that are specifically geared at vegans!

Another reason why this brand is so amazing is that when they say cruelty free, they mean for all animals, including humans. On their blog they sum it up quite nicely:

Purrfect Pineapples is a cruelty-free fashion label, designed and produced in Toronto, Canada. Cruelty-free means that everything we produce is sweat-shop and animal free. This is where you can read about upcoming Purrfect Pineapples events, new items, vegan food/recipes, and funtimes.

So along with all of that they are also offering you vegan recipes on their blog.  Oh my gosh, I think I’m in love.

Sure, the prices are higher than buying something off ebay or in a stripper store, but with this company you can be sure your purchases are vegan, you know they weren’t made in sweatshops, you are supporting the workers making the garments and you are also supporting a vegan company.  Definitely worth saving up for in this girl’s opinion!

steampunk

May 8, 2011

I am writing this post from a hotel room in Waltham, Mass.  Why you may ask?

I was invited by the Royal Baritarian players to participate in a (pretend) interactive victorian bawdy house.  I can say, and this would not be a shock to most vegans, that the continental breakfast was pretty lackluster for me, as I really only had an option of dry cereal, toast, or bagel. I was able to save my left over veggie fajita from the night before and had a more filling breakfast this morning.  But that has nothing to do with steampunk….

Yesterday was I was Fraulein Anja Von Keister and got to perform “Deutschlesque,” a made up word we created for a burlesque act where I yell at the audience to help me take off my clothes with an angry, germanic accent.  The group also learned very quickly that a sleazy german accent is very addictive as most of the group has not started speaking with it.  We then got to go to steampunk ball where we learned ball room dancing.

Now is the time when we head back to the space for  second round of this. Today we’ll also get a chance to walk around and see then vendors, so if I find any amazing vegan friendly finds, I’ll update later!

Last week I made the trek down my street to attend a burlesque show.  That’s right, a burlesque show in the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn!  The recent addition of The Way Station, a steampunk themed bar, has become the home of “Wasabassco at the Way Station,” monthly show that takes place in the venue side of this wonderful nerd bar in my neighborhood!  Doc Wasabassco, who is also one of the people running this bar, hosts as emcee for the evening, which has been showcasing 4 performers an evening, each doing two acts, giving the audience a chance to see the performer’s breadth of talent.

The venue side

the bar side

This bar, which is a great haven for those who want to have a charming place to imbibe without having to endure the stereotypical bar douche dude, is split in to two areas, the bar side and then a venue side which has booths and a small stage.  This section can also
be curtained off to create privacy, something that is helpful when hosting a burlesque show.  I’ve been to two of these burlesque evenings, and I have to say that the crowds have been welcoming and the performers are fantastic. It is quaint and gives the performer a chance to really connect with the audience.

Another reason I love going to these shows is I get to stop by Natural Blend, a vegetarian (possibly all vegan?) Caribbean food place and juice bar located nearby.  Not only does Natural Blend offer great patties filled with your choice of veggies, soya or fake meat, they also have all kinds of vegan baked goods as well as vegan meals.  But what I am really jazzed about? Non-dairy hard scoop ice cream!!!  It is this that allows me to walk, a short distance, to a burlesque show, and pick up a vegan ice cream on the way.  HEAVEN!

If you are in the area, you should definitely check out The Way Station and Natural Blend.  Here is a link to Natural Blend’s menu  so you can check out their food options so you aren’t overwhelmed by all the tastiness upon entrance.