The 7th of September finally saw the debut of my brand new routine! Tease & Reveal or as it was dubbed the second evening Boudoir Bettie.
A huge thank you to one of my all time favourite shows to perform at The Burlesque Company booked me yet again to come back and debut this routine – Matt and Amy are just wonderful and know just how to put on an amazing show.
The routine went so much better than I thought it would thank the burly queens for all the show girl luck & my powder puff was brilliant I can’t believe how well it worked – after the second show [the night after] I got commissioned by the lovely Rainbow Sparkles to create a giant powder puff for her Christmas act I shall post pictures in another blog post kittens.
I would like to add more sparkles to the costume in the form of rhinestones & crystals to the Triumph underwear and What Katie Did Corset [but probably just the boning not the mesh] and I may also have a go at crystallising the lace on my gorgeous Nell Robe – Betty I got so many compliments on that robe!! I may just wear it as day wear tee hee.
The show itself as always was wonderful there’s a few sneaky back stage pics I got with Sukki, Khandie and the lovely Cherry Stone – it was one of those wonderful evenings where backstage was a buzz with chatter, sharing stories, sharing lipsticks and of course pasties, thongs and glitter flying everywhere. It’s lovely when you get on with other burly q performers backstage I had such a great night. Meeting Sukki was amazing, she is an up and coming performer I’d really wanted to meet and sort of already felt like I had due to us talking online. Sukki is certainly one to watch what a little mover she is with a right firecracker personality it was a privilege to watch her do her thing.
8th September I got to do it all again and enjoyed it even more at Ruby Maihem with a bunch of burly q ladies I know and love which was incredible! The routine went so well and of course Mark of ML Imagery took some top notch images that I adore so big thank you to Mark.
For more behind the scene pictures go to: Gallery
Vampettes, kittens and Cats the next show shall be at The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath and is a new club night ran by Aceface Barbers.
This is an incredibly special show as my lovely lady Jessica Stark will be doing her Burlesque Debut on such a special night and my gorgeous girlie Kitty will also be down from Manchester to perform I can not wait.
Betty Rowland is another one of those Iconic Burly Q figures. She is the epitome of a femme fatal with dangerous curves, vixen flamed locks and costumes that are stunning yet simple.
I know not too long ago Millie Dollar created a new act based completely on The Flaming Ball of Fire Betty, I shall be just drawing inspiration from her along with Diana Dors and a few other femme fatal that I shall post about over the next two weeks on the run up to the debut.
Betty has a certain charm about her, the last video I posted is a wonderful representation but I won’t be stripping as erratic as she seemed to be - clothes were flying off faster than you could actualy remember what she was wearing in the first place. Like Dors though she sure can wear a gorgeous robe [like my gorgeous Nell] so well and give it that old hollywood glamour, something I hope to draw inspiration from!
Now we’ve all seen or perform a Cliché filled routine – In my case I feel the song I use ‘Big Spender by Peggy Lee’ seems quite the obvious choice for a burly q routine & therefore a cliché in itself and I know it.
When I chose the music for my debut act many, many moons ago I actually chose Peggy Lee’s Big Spender because I could picture in my head doing a routine in a women Tuxedo – lots of rhinestones, sequins and glitter with a champagne pop finale based around Old Hollywood movies & the icon of all icons Marilyn Monroe. The first time I’d seen the Champagne pour finale was actually Millicent Binks & when I did I fell head over heels. I realise these days most people UK based anyone in or interested in the Burly & Cabaret scene think of Banbury when it comes to the champagne pour and she does a fabulous job but she isn’t the only one, there are many gorgeous ladies out there who also do a good pop & pour.
I researched burly q acts to see who else used Big Spender & I was shocked to find no one, no one as a solo performer used that track only a couple of troupes used it for choreographed routines around the world. This was a pretty surprising revelation & made the decision to use it even easier – however it wasn’t till two years after my debut that I actually used the song for what is now one of my signature acts ‘Champagne Pop’.
When choosing a song I try not to be too cliché, I can’t stand when performers don’t mix their songs when you want to use two or more tracks you should really invest in getting someone to mix them for you or learn yourself – I can’t even describe how many performances I’ve sat through listening to a whole track then there’s a small gap of silence and a new track starts, it’s painful even my friends who reluctantly have come along with me to watch shows have pointed this out. Timing is everything & music is key as much as your props, costume etc. the music sets the scene as well as the mood and with a pause in between tracks as well as using two full length tracks it isn’t setting the right atmosphere.
I also feel it would be good to point out don’t just choose a track because ‘Dita uses it’ because it’s probably been done before & ridiculously over used.
Here’s a little list of those tracks:
The Stripper - David Rose
[This track is very effective when used in a comedy routine or mixed in to another track but alone it’s just a no go]
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Sing, Sing, Sing
In the mood
When used cleverly or in a different way these songs really work by themselves I’ve heard them so many times & seen so many similar routines to each song they lose something.
Photographs are from ‘This was Burlesque - Ann Corio’
My finished pair of micro mini’s, hand made by myself and beautiful. I am incredibly pleased with how they turned out and plan on making a few more. The pasties I’ve made previously have been pretty nice but not perfect [aside from the micro mini cherries I made] this is the right size and a great technique so look out for many, many more.
Images behind Micro Mini Pasties from ‘This was Burlesque by Ann Corio’
“I am interested in learning the art of burlesque to earn extra income…” I’m sorry I didn’t quite hear you over the sounds of my fountain that spews solid gold and the birds singing in my money trees…what was that??!!
- Tempest Rose - July 25th
I actually shared this post on my page on facebook as it made me laugh so much at the time and really pointed out to me how little people know about performing Burlesque.
A lot of people don’t seem to understand performers, like myself do not perform for the money – If you are in this for the money you going to be sorely disappointed. Burlesque is something I do for me, now you could say that’s selfish and I can’t even recount how many forum posts, statuses and blogs I’ve read on ‘your performing for the audience’ ‘it’s not your podium for your insecurities’ etc. etc. etc. which can get pretty monotonous and incredibly boring, incredibly fast!
Performing is a way to express myself just another outlet, I enjoy it and I think it really shows on stage as ever photo I get back has me smiling like a loon. I think you really have to be having fun on stage because if you are so are the audience, they feed off your enthusiasm. I’d also like to point out I don’t perform to get over any insecurities [which I know is a popular reason for a lot of performers] it has nothing to do with why I perform.
Of course I get paid ladies & gentlemen, I’m providing a service, a source of entertainment and at the end of the day crystals, feathers and glitter don’t pay for themselves. I also think it’s crucial to know how much your worth compared to other performers [take your time working out your fee – make sure it covers the cost of replacing items you may use / cleaning a costume etc] of course everybody’s fee differs. It seems an almost taboo subject, no one really asks how much each other charges and you’re left to decide for yourself how much you think your routine is worth!
If you think this art form is a great way to make some quick money think again – The amount of money I have to put in to a new routine, updating a costume, buying props and getting myself from A to B is ridiculous. If I sat down and thought about it I’d probably start wondering ‘why the hell do I do this?’ – People, promoters etc. pay for quality you need to earn your tassels lady and that’s working from the ground up, personally I don’t think you should start doing paid gigs for at least the first year hone your craft, learn from other performers, take newcomers slots with big names on the bill and start making a name for yourself.
So if you’re thinking ‘I’ll give it a go and make myself a little extra cash on the side’ I‘d like to point out I don’t have a money tree in the garden, a gold fountain with flowing rhinestones in the front yard & my costumes do not make themselves.
Always write about what you know, so I’m told so if you’ve been wondering why I write so many little articles on Burlesque well it should be pretty obvious now. Not only is Burly Q a passion of mine, something I do which gives me no end of joy it is also something I’ve been interested in for many, many years – I’ve done an extensive amount of reading up on the subject, attending shows and of course performing in them.
I guess you’re wondering what this articles going to be about. Well its simple, over the last couple of years since the first Burlesque show I attended in 2006 [The debut of The Candy Box Burlesque] when I was the tender age of 17 I’ve tried to keep as up to date with performers on the scene always keeping a list of ‘inspirational’ artists / artists I wanted to design costumes for or these days perform with in my Burly career. The list has changed a lot of the years one lady has been on there since the very beginning and has never moved off it, The one, The only Anna Fur Laxis [I’m pretty sure she’s on a lot of burly ladies lists out there] When I saw her perform ‘Tease for Two’ I was enthralled and that was that Anna had stole my burly heart! Her acts get bigger and better each one out does itself – everything you see an act you think ‘Gosh! It just can’t get better than this’ and then she brings out an act using Axes!! What a dame!
Other performers however have moved about over the years shifting places and dropping off for one reason or another. Changes in taste personally, meeting the ‘said’ performer I considered to be on my inspiration/aspiration list only to find they don’t live up to the dream in my head or finding them writing things on social networking sites that leaves a bad taste.
Of course we all have the greats on our list, in our heads and always a keen source of inspiration: Marilyn, Bettie, Tempest, April, Bunny, Josephine, Eva, Grace Kelly, Zorita and Dita [the list goes on] and that’s wonderful of course I adore the heyday of Burly Q as well as the Golden Era of Hollywood! But they are just extra inspiration as a lot of performers draw from them.
These days my list consist of some [in my opinion] top performers of today, the modern ‘it girls’ when it comes to the Burlesque scene! Anna Fur Laxis, Scarlett Diamonds, Medianoche, Roxy Dlite and Inga Ingenue.
In my personal opinion these ladies are at the forefront of Burly Q, they have innovative routines, huge glittery props! [that serve a purpose of course not just for the sake of it] Some of the most beautiful costumes I have ever seen especially Anna’s who’s really do look and feel inspired by the 50’s ladies! I adore Medianoche’s choice of music [she really is sin in an hour glass], Inga’s playfulness in a routine she blows me away every time I watch a video on youtube [if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Inga in action hot foot it over to youtube NOW! That’s an order]. Scarlett moves like a dream, her Opium routine is one I have watched far too many times … all those views are really just me pressing ‘repeat’ & Roxy what can I say! One word Stunning!
I only hope that one day I’ll be on someone’s aspiration list which I think is a pretty great thing to aim for!
So ladies who would your list consist of?
Burlesque, performer & showgirl names
When I picked my Burlesque name back in ’08 I had spent a year at least jotting down ideas, messing about with word play & researching every name I came up with to check it hadn’t been used.
The first time I performed [which was a spontaneous event] I was asked to give a name I’d pretty much always knew I wanted to use Von as a first name [ not a joining/middle name] and right before I went on ‘Von Vamp’ is what came out. It was one of three names on my original list inspired from articles and books I’d been reading on Palo Negri the last of the great Vamps! & that’s where Vamp came from – it just had a perfect ring to it and I adored the fact it was an alliteration too.
I know there’s a lot of problems in the burly community with stealing acts, costumes and sadly not only that but names too. Stage names are a very personal trait to your branding, acts & performance I think a name sets up an idea straight away of what sort of performer you are. So when newcomers steal names or don’t do their research properly I can only wonder what they were thinking.
If it’s the research, it isn’t hard to type a name in to facebook / google / twitter to do a brief search first off! If you can’t even manage to do that then you can’t be too interested in the Burlesque scene – just like one of my top pet burly peeves: Performers who do not do their research on Burlesque History & current ‘hot’ performers on the scene.
More outrageous is if it’s the first option stealing a name, my mind is boggled why you would do such a thing! To hopefully be mistaken for your namesake performer? Because you liked the sound of it? [Flattering but if you can’t see the problem there’s something wrong]
It’d hard to come up with a definite answer to this as I didn’t steal a name or pick mine on the bases of another performer’s name.
Popular Burly Names
Top list of cliché names on the bury circuit:
DeVille, Rose, Pearl, Teese, Tease, Kitty, Kitten, Dolly, Cherry…. the list goes on
We already have enough lovely burly ladies using these names – newcomers unless it’s really original way of using such names should really be a bit more creative! There are a lot of long standing performers with fabulous said names!
All the established perfumers using these names picked them for personal reasons which is what everyone should do – something personal to you to give it meaning and make it feel more like yours!
The lingerie set for my new routine is heavily inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier. From the light peach pastel colour to the added quilting texture applied to the bra & high waisted briefs and of course the iconic ‘conical’ bra! that this set has.
However this is actually a set by the designer brand Triumph, I’ve wanted it for a very long time now and always used to see it while out shopping but couldn’t justify spending the almost £200 price tag of the bra and high wasted brief and as luck would have it I popped in today just to have a look at it and oh my! it was on SALE! amazing news.
I probably shouldn’t have bought it right now after buying the Nell Robe but it was just too perfect and instead of £200 came to £57!! I was tempted to buy the black set too but really can’t stretch to that at the moment!
So happy! I couldn’t be more over joyed! now I just need to make a new set of micro mini pasties & buy some peach rhinestones to add to this gorgeous set.
I also took a few quick snaps of my sumptious underwear set with my What Katie Did peach cabaret morticia underbust corset!
I couldn't be more happy with this beautful set for my new routine! just to get my hands on some crystals and to glitz this underwear up!!
I also found a couple of publicity shots of the underwear I bought from Triumph from there 125th anniversary collection.
And finally a few quick snaps of my gorgeous Nell robe and underwear all together.
Today was the day I picked up my first investment piece for routine & it just happened to be the Nell Robe designed & created by the fabulous Betty of Betty Blue’s!
This garment is the most luxurious, exquisite item I own down to the last detail. The lace panelling is so delicate and beautiful against the skin, the soft jersey material is a pleasure to wear and once on you never one to take it off. As soon as I slipped my arms in to the robe and tied it around my waist I felt the urge to grab a cocktail, a cigarette and recline on our antique leather sofas at home – to be quite honest I don’t know what stopped me!
Betty has been an absolute star the whole way through, I can’t really thank her enough – she replied to every tweet on twitter, kept me up to date via email and sent it out the day after I ordered I didn’t expect such speedy service as I know she runs a small independent company. Betty you are doing one heck of a job kitten which brings me to the package – so much thought has gone in to the packing of Betty’s products and I adore that I feel the packaging really makes something special! Thank god not a plastic wrapped gummed sealed bag in site! No a perfect pink packaged inside a beautiful baby blue tissue paper with white ribbon wrapped robe. Held in place with the white ribbon was a little card of Betty hand written [I do love a personal touch] giving instructions on how to treat the garment & also to tell you to enjoy your purchase – For this little flourish Betty Blue I will be back to shop again it really made me smile.
I’ve also included a few images as the Nell Robe was inspired by the film ‘Don’t bother to knock’ which starred the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe! I found a couple of images to show the original robe and even to my astonishment a foreign poster which shows a black version of the robe!!
The original in the movie of course was red which was the first Nell Robe design Betty bought out and may just be a purchase I have to make as this black robe is to die for.
I can’t wait to get to strut, shimmy and pose on stage in this beautiful piece – Betty you have an eye for style!
Miss. Von Vamp
Burlesque Performer, Striptease Artist, Pin Up & Show Girl