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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

My burlesque show, that had it’s first show in March (A Night of Role Playing Games)  has ballooned on the internet, catching the attention of many blog, geek websites, and even more mainstream sites.

I am of course delighted, though this constant promotional work I am doing has become my life.  I can’t complain too much though as it allows me to spend days on the internet looking for new websites that match the theme, that are also my own interests,  that I can promote the show on.  In this process I have found many new sites that I love, especially NerdNYC, a forum based site for self proclaimed nerds to get together and discuss news, but also organize game nights and RPG campaigns! It is like a dream come true for me and some members of the NerdNYC group have really helped me and D20 Burlesque out! This past weekend I unfortunately missed the NerdNYC picnic but I look forward to more events in the summer, though I’m finding many gigs are conflicting.

An example of this is happening tonight, where I am missing NerdNYC’s game night at Think Coffee  (at 248 Mercer street) because of my participation in the Rhinestone Follies’ Benefit for April March. Of course I would love to see you at this benefit, but if games, coffee, and delicious vegan desserts are your thing, the game night is a great evening as well.

This Benefit, put together by the Rhinestone Follies, is to help raise funds for April March, the First lady of Burlesque,  to attend the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend where she can perform in the legends show.  This is a similar sort of thing to the evening I went to with Bambi Jones at Coney Island.  I am extremely lucky to get to perform in this benefit which includes many of NY’s top burlesque performers.  This show is tonight from 8pm-10pm at the R Bar (218 Bowery, LES, NY), $15.

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.

So, yeah, I have been slacking a lot when it comes to blogging. In my defense, I have been super busy.  Just last week I had 5 gigs in one week, one of which was the second installment of D20 Burlesque. I even got to perform twice out of state last week, once at Hell’s Kitchen Lounge in Newark, NJ and another time down in New Hope, PA at John & Peter’s, a wonderful little bar right near where my partner grew up.  This gig allowed me the cash flow to go visit my family for Easter where my mother had made me vegan peanut butter eggs, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate dipped strawberries!

But back to D20 Burlesque.  The second show, which is a ‘curse’ in the burlesque world via sophomore slump, but we did really well and pulled off another great show.  This show also allowed me to work out fun new vegan friendly versions of burlesque staples: the feather fan and the feather headdress.

James Koroni, a talented dancer, vegan, and all around sweetie pie, came out to the show to help support my vegan burlesque work!

Check out James’ coverage of my event and check out the rest of his site to learn more about vegan friendly dancers!

a magical night

April 14, 2011

photo by Norman Blake. Jo Weldon interviews Bambi Jones, April 14th, 2011

Last night I attended Bambi and Bambi: Classic Burley-q meets the New Burlesque at Coney Island USA, the museum and theater that houses Burlesque at the Beach and Sideshows by the Seashore. It was truly an amazing evening that included talks about burlesque at Coney Island, in interview by Jo Weldon with Bambi Jones, a burlesque performer who started performing in 1949 and worked with many famous performers and hob knobbed with Errol Flynn (who said said was a “nasty man”).

The show also included 2 other Bambi’s: Bambi Galore a wonderful neo burlesque performer  who plays a lot with gender and queer culture and Bambi the Mermaid who is one of the main neo burlesque performers who is responsible for the NY scene.  This plus Little Brooklyn (a NY burlesque staple) doing her first performance since the birth of her son, Bunny Love (another NY Burlesque staple), current Miss Coney Island Lefty Lucy and the cutie with the bootyKita St. Cyr made for a magical night.

It was an evening of fabulous performances, great lectures, and I’ll tell you, when Bambi Jones performered, I cried.  The woman is 80 years old, and she was up there, shaking it and the crowd loved her back. Check out the video below to see the powerhouse that she is and check out her book My Journey Burlesque: The Way it Was for more amazing stories about her life

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/9325669″>Bambi Jones Burlesque Hall of Fame</a>

Also, the next two weekends I will be back in Pennsylvania, which means I get to indulge in

shoo fly pie, A-Treat Soda and vegan Girl scout cookies! I love PA!

some of my favorite PA goodies! Note: In the photo you seem me with Girl Scout cookies.  Vegans – take note, there are two companies that make GS cookies.  If you live in an area that has caramel DeLites (and not Samoas) your company is ABC (not to be confused with the vegan Alternative Baking Company) and there are currently 4 vegan friendly cookies: Thanks a lot, the new cinnamon ones, the Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties.

D20 rpg video recap

April 7, 2011

Amazing video by Mister Khon!