If you have been a reader for the past few months you know I have done a lot of backstage work for Wasabassco Burlesque since I’ve gotten involved in the NY  new burlesque scene.  Well, a week or so ago Doc Wasabassco had been asking around to try and find a stage manager for the Saturday City Winery show. I asked if I could step up to the plate and use my past backstage and kittening experience to help out.  Doc was down with the idea and I once again joined some wonderful performers down in the weird hidden dressing room of City Winery.  I was in charge of collecting music, filling out the info sheet for the show (performer order, song titles, when to cue music, etc) rounding up the performers, working the curtain, stage cleanup and helping to set up and props/chairs that the performers needed for their acts.  Since people had seen me the previous show from backstage, this time I got more dressed up.  Sadly I forgot to take pictures of any of this because things just went so quickly I completely forgot.  To keep this post short I’ll briefly give a synopsis of each performer and their amazing act (not listed in any specific order).
Marlo Maruise did a super adorable act where she had a large makeup puff that she used almost as fans to dust powder all over he body. Kita St. Cyr did a traditional glam striptease with some sparkly articles of clothing. Amber Ray did a super creative almost showgirl act where she had lilly pads on the stage and a bra that when she took it off and put it together it created a flower. Jenny C’est Quoi did her “I am the Walrus” act that I love so much and makes me giggle everytime. Vikki Likkerish did a fan dance, but the fans were made of balloons. Ruby Valentine did an act that included swinging nun chucks around. Stormy Leather started as a housewife, then undressed and used rope to create a knotted corset for herself, while blindfolded. Nikki Le Villian performed an act with candles and in the end poured the wax on her chest. Sapphire Jones did a comical routine where she was dressed up as a school lunch lady.  Also,Albert Cadabra, who performs  at Ripley’s Believe it or Not, did a magic act and a balloon swallowing act.
At the end of the show during the curtain call, I got to go on stage and share the applause with the wonderful performers.  Overall it was a very fun and rewarding night and I look forward to working with Wasabassco again in the future, hopefully soon as a performer!
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This past friday (April 30th) I got to stage kitten for the first time.  I was pretty nervous and flustered that day with a mix of excitement and worry.  There was still so much I didn’t know but I was excited to learn.  To help calm my nerves I watched the burlesque episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race with the ever so wonderful Dita Von Teese, the Queen of Burlesque, as a guest judge!

I had put my hair into two tight buns in the morning so by 7:45 when I took them out they had a good amount of curl and wave which I set with hairspray and gel.  I never used hair products growing up, so I was pretty impressed with how well it stayed! I also gave myself a little volume bump in the front to off set my sailor hat I’d pin on at the venue.  I then got started on my makeup, using Kandee Johnson youtube videos to assist me on smokey eyes, eyebrow arching, and applying false lashes. Sizzle Dizzle, who was the other stage kitten had suggested I do hair and makeup at home since you can never tell how well lit a backstage area will be.  I actually got the fake lashes on, which is a big step for me since I’ve failed at attempts in the past.  It was semi difficult finding fun lashes that are vegan, but I’ll save that part for another post!

back stage at Coney Island

My partner and I then quickly made our way to the Q train to get down to Coney island.  Upon arriving there, I met up with Doc Wasabassco and headed backstage.  Sizzle and Gigi were already there as well as Keith Bastard, who was doing a special song and dance peddling Burlixir, the Wasabbasco ‘medicine’  for the medicine show.   While the other ladies made their way in, Sizzle went over kittening do’s and don’ts with me and also showed me how to fill out the sheet for the music cues.  Keith, Sizzle and I did one run through which consisted of Keith doing his really funny routine and then Sizzle and I running on stage, acting like excited tweens at a Jonas brothers concert, and then going out into the audience to sell the Burlixir during intermission.

Before I knew it, the show was beginning.  Although I was not nervous to be on stage, I was very nervous about missing or losing a costume piece when it was my job to pick up after a performer.  Luckily, I got every piece every time and also didn’t flub any stage prop setups.  The ladies backstage were really nice and considerate but seemed very busy and focused, which I could understand considering the difficulty of some of their acts.  When it came time for intermission, we ended up selling almost all of the Burlixir and I had a fun time joking and working the audience.

The second half seemed to fly by and all the ladies (GiGi La Femme, Nasty Canasta, Sapphire Jones, Gal Friday) as well as Keith and a juggling act named Der Achten Taschen did a fantastic job, though I was somewhat jealous I didn’t get to watch them front and center.  Finally, the night ended with a champagne bath as a tribute to Tirza’s Wine Bath Revue that used to happen in the 1940’s at Coney Island.

Originally I had planned on wearing a sequined outfit but after realizing I would be having champagne poured on me at the end of the show, I decided to go with my vintage bikini instead.  GiGi and I got in the tub, and the rest of the ladies poured champagne on us, which they collected in cups and gave out to the audience.  (For those of you who may know me from college, this wasn’t too different from that one Peddle to the Meddle performance I once did!)  After all the champagne was gone, I went backstage, toweled off, got dressed, thanked everyone and headed back to the Q to go home.  It was a fun and exciting night where I went from nervous to really pumped and stoked at the end.  I hope I have more kittening and eventually performing in my future!