don’t know how I forgot about this, but I had a photo shoot awhile ago with a great photographer, Beau Alluli.  This photo shoot was actually the one I won at the Gay Marriage Benefit in June. Beau was great to work with and let me do so many different looks, I got an amazing amount of great new photos from the experience.  Here are some of my favorites!



blog coverage

January 4, 2011

photo by John Galayda

Awhile ago I did my Kitty Nights at Bar on A debut. An exciting thing about this was that a New York Times blog writer and photographer was there! It has taken a little over a month, but the blog finally posted it, so you can read the article here and see the photographer’s viewfinder here. Here is a photo of me performing my rainbow connection act that night:


photo by John Galayda

omg, pinups for pitbulls!

January 3, 2011

Wow, I really slipped and missed that I was allowed to post my Pinups for Pit bulls photo shoot results. Unfortunately I didn’t make it into the calendar, but this organization is doing great things working to promote pro-pit bull awareness and their calendar is awesome to boot!  You can order the calendar here for $20 (plus shipping and handling) where the proceeds go to help the group and their work.  Also, you can now check out the photos from the shoot with Dale Rio and Wilma, a now adopted pit bull rescue that was fostered by my friends Karen and Dan!

Pinups for Pitbulls

August 27, 2010

As I mentioned in the previous post did a photo shoot to submit for this calendar two weekends ago.  The organization is called Pinups for Pibulls and they are doing great work to raise awareness of the fact that pitbulls are a loving and caring breed that have received a bad wrap.  Due to signing image exclusivity rights I cannot show you any pictures from the shoot.  I do however have some pictures from after the shoot that are okay!

My partner and I took the train down to Philly where we met up with Dale Rio at her house.  From there we got me ready and I walked down to Studio Noir Philadelphia to meet up with my co-star, Wilma he pitbull.

Wilma Wonka is a rescued pitbull from Philly that was taken from her neglectful owner, who was probably using her as a breeding dog.  Wilma is now living in my friends Karen and Dan’s house as a foster pup looking for adoption.  She is super cute and playful and Karen reports she is learning how to cuddle.  She behaved pretty well during the shoot.

The dog handlers (Karen and Dan), the photo shoot star Wilma, and the photographer Dale Rio.

The other great thing about having Karen and Dan up was that they brought tofu hoagies (banh mi) from Fu-Wah in west Philly.  Oh man I love those tofu hoagies! Everyone at the shoot was veg, so we were all pretty stoked to chow down during or after the shoot on the delicious presents Karen and Dan brought.

If you think you might be interested in adopting Wilma, you can fid her information on her craigslist ad.  Also check out P.A.W.S. (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) to learn more about fostering or adopting rescued animals in the Philly area. If you are not in the Philly area, check out where you can search for all kinds of rescued animals all over the world!

A few weeks ago I did a short photo shoot with Dale Rio, who was the wonderful lady behind my last set of pin-up shots.   This time I got to include a certain prop I wanted to do last time, a vegan cupcake.  Now, originally I wanted to bake my own, but ran out of time.  Then I wanted to try and buy some from the ever so wonderful baker Danielle Konya of Vegan Treats but I wasn’t able to stop by any of the many locations she sells to in NY before the shoot. (Interesting side fact, I grew up and went to the same high school as Danielle, but we were too many years apart to know each other.)  In the end I ended up having to buy a vegan cupcake from Whole Foods.  It was no vegan treats cupcake, but it sufficed.

If you remember from my last post about photo shoots, the room gets really hot.  Between the cramped space, lack of air conditioning and the heat from all the photo spotlights it is enough to melt the lipsticks in the tube and…..the icing on my cupcake.  I was able to still work with it, but it was really runny.  This was fine, because my main plan was to get a few playful ones and then just shove the rest of it in my mouth.  It was basically the best photo series ever!

Dale was pretty impressed with my ability to really cram it in, though i will say the combo of melted icing and somewhat dry cake, it was a battle.  I still got some pretty amazing shots out of the deal, so I can’t really complain.

After this shoot, Dale and I headed over to Food Swings again and even though Ihad just wolfed down a sizable vegan cupcake, I still had room for vegan fast food!

Now that Dale has moved her studio to Philadelphia, I am sad that I don’t have a kick ass vegan photographer so close, but it seems her new studio is doing well and is even having a retro finishing school class this weekend with a class on vintage hairstyling by Bettina May, who you may remember from the interview I did with her in June!

I will be heading down to Philly this weekend  for a shoot though.  This will be posted about after the fact though, so for now I leave you drooling over these pictures of me and my cupcake!

photo poll!

July 17, 2010

okay, first off, sorry I am late with this post.  I know I said thursday I would be posting this poll on friday, and it is now Saturday, but I also didn’t expect today’s photo shoot with Dale to go so long, or that I would even be going at all.  Anyway, a story for another day, let’s get to the pictures!

Below you will find thumbnails of some of my favorites from my pin-up class with Dale Rio.  For my business card I want to have a picture on both sides, that means you may vote for 2 different pictures.  You can see the the larger (caution: very large) form of the picture by clicking on the small one.  My tag line is “The Kitsch Bitch of Brooklyn” so if that helps with your photo selecting, so be it. If you feel you want to explain your choices, feel free to leave something in the comments as to why you think a certain picture should get on my card.





Today I received my photo disk of Dale Rio’s photo from the shoot and wow, there are so many great ones.  I am pouring over them trying to figure out which ones to use for my business cards (maybe I’ll do a vote on this site), but here are two as sneak peeks of what is to come….

some of my props that I brought with me to the shoot

This past Saturday I woke up early (well early for a Saturday morning) and headed over towards Bushwick for a pin-up workshop with Dale Rio.  This workshop, which was set up through the New York School of Burlesque, used to be a three day class, but for this special workshop we went from 10am-6pm and went over the history of pin-ups, talked about how to do retro hair, makeup, and ended with photo shoots for each student.

The night before the class I went for a manicure and then packed my large suitcase full of props, outfits, makeup, curling irons and shoes in preparation for the class.  The suitcase ended up being pretty heavy which only made it that much worse when I got lost, several times on the way to Studio Noir where the class was being held.  Saturday was a pretty steamy day in New York City, so I was a sweaty mess by the time I showed up! The studio was a couple of floors up so I lugged my suitcase up the steps, collapsed into a chair and  prepared for an amazing day.

There were four students in the class, including myself, so we ended up getting very personalized treatment and attention.  Cheeky Lane was also in the class as well as another burlesque lady, Tess Truehart, and another girl who was just interested in pin-up and burlesque. After learning about the history of pinup (from geishas to modern day ladies like Dita Von Teese) we took a lunch break. The photographer led us to a local coffee shop where we stocked up on drinks, to stay hydrated in the heat, and a quick bite to keep up our energy till the end of the class. It was during this time that I heard Dale, the photographer, get really excited about the coffee shop selling vegan brownies.  “Are you vegan?” I excitedly asked. When she said yes, I gave a ‘team vegan’ high five and we gushed about vegan baked goods and food in the city.

A look into the studio before the shooting started.

When we got back to the studio we went over hair and makeup techniques and each of us started getting camera ready.  Once everybody got into their first outfit for shooting, we closed the studio door and turned on the professional lighting.  Holy falafel did it get hot!  Despite the fans going in the room, all of us were sweating like nobody’s business.  In between outfits, I quick ran to the bathroom which was cooler so I could mop off the sweat, touch up my makeup, switch outfits and adjust hairstyles.

During the shooting part of the class I ended up getting to do three different styles: my retro polka dot swim suit, a long black mermaid style dress and black pillbox hat, and a crazy punk/sci fi mish mash full of comics and ridiculous styling. (For the record, that long black dress was actually my senior prom dress, so it was pretty fun to put it on 8 years later and totally rock it- again)  Originally Dale said we would get them out to us in a few weeks, but a few days later she said that they were so fun and came out so well, she made them top priority and we should get them by the end of the week. Hopefully, that post will come sometime this weekend!

There is no better way to end a photo shoot than a gyro and creamsicle "milk" shake from Foodswings!

As we were packing up after the shoot, I talked about wanting to go to Foodswings while in that area of Brooklyn and Dale was totally down.  I invited everybody from the class but in the end it ended up just being Cheeky, Dale and me.  I got a gyro, Dale got mac and cheese and Cheeky got some cheese fries, and it was all glorious.  We talked about the local burlesque scene, photography, roller derby and how good the food tasted.

Before long it was time to head out and we all headed back to the subway where we later went our separate ways. Although I was saddened the day was over, I have since been an email contact with Dale, helping her find people to do shoots with in Philly (where she has moved) and have secured an interview with her that will show up tomorrow on this blog!

got a name, now what?

April 28, 2010

Last you read I had decided on my name.  So, what comes with a name and what needed to be done to choose that name?  First off I had to do an online search for Facebook, MySpace, the yahoo burlesque name database, and as a domain name by itself to see if it had been taken.  With some performers using MySpace and others Facebook, you can never tell where someone might be promoting themselves.  After checking and deciding, I added my name to the database, quickly opened a new Gmail account for Anja Keister, which then allowed me to make a Facebook page.  The domain name is not taken, so once I start doing shows and have more publicity pictures, that will be the next major internet challenge for me.

The next promotion task is to get business cards made.  Jezebel Express had recommended them as a great way of networking and also to have at shows and auditions to spread your name in the scene. Awhile ago I used vistaprint for promoting a co-op I’m a member of, so I will probably use them again. Aside from the ever so annoying almost daily emails touting their on sale products, vistaprint does do high quality printing of brochures, magnets, business cards, posters, etc.  If you can work thrifty, you can get a bunch of stuff for free and end up only paying for shipping.  Right now they are doing a sale with 500 premium business cards for free. 

bathroom photo shoot at 12:30 am

But what needs to go on the business card?  First off, this is the very visual burlesque world, so a photo is probably a good start!  I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot around 11:30pm Monday night so I would have pictures to put on the cards. Also, some nice photos for Facebook and other promotional use would be a good idea, so I curled my hair, did some makeup, put on my new vintage bathing suit, and did a self shot photo shoot in my bathroom.  It was definitely difficult to work the camera by myself, but fun at the same time to see the results. There are a few more which can be seen on the Facebook page.  I am starting to contact photographers to set up an actual photo shoot, but I want to wait till I have more costumes first to really makwe the shot worthwhile.

Other things to put on the business card would be contact info, like the email account, any information about the kind of performance I would be doing (comedy burlesque), and maybe a catchy phrase or tagline which I have seen several other performers have.  I’m going to wait till after friday when I can get more examples of business cards from  the other performers at the Coney Island show before I start layout.  I also plan to bring my camera and get some shots in full glam face and outfit!

For now, I return to sewing on sequins and dreaming about Friday…..

Will I see any of you there??