Jan 21, 2010


Is this kind of imagery okay again? I ask because I have a "Pocahontas" act that I am thinking of putting into early retirement. Not because I'm afraid of offending the left-wing ultra PC liberals who are incensed if you say "sitting Indian styled" or "Indian giver", but because I think it has - as it is now - weak choreography. In this act, I'm dressed like a Native American and I'm standing inside a caged box (a wooden frame structure with no real glass sides). The idea is to evoke the dioramas one sees in natural history museums, and what Mieke Bal calls the "museology" of racial and sexual representations from positions of cultural privilege. I break out of the box and undress and at the end of the song (Amy Winehouse's Back to Black), I go back into the box (which can symbolize the trappings of a self-imposed ethnic identity, and/or the imposed idea of ethnic identity by a cultural institution such as a museum). I return to the same position as I started out in.

Of course, that was the theory behind the idea. When I actually debuted the act, I didn't think my costume was right enough, the gestures weren't spot on, the story and character were not clearly communicated to the audience, and I was not pleased with my dancing. I think the box needs fake grass and tumbleweed along with a background landscape of sky so it looks more like a diorama.

I may need to take Dr. Lucky's Character Development class at the School of Burlesque and seek for help from higher burlesque places.

For now, I'll work on the kinky nun act for the Nurse Bettie show on Feb. 4.

-Posted on the fly!


  1. How about a sign that says something like "American Museum of Natural Stereotypes." Maybe a little blunt, but it would get the point across of where you are and that you're commenting on stereotypes instead of just playing them.

  2. Yes! I too have thought of putting a sign that said "endangered" and have someone dressed in workman overall with "museum staff" on the back of his shirt wheel me and the cage/case out on a cart.

  3. Maybe start off with an innocuous song from Pocahontas, then suddenly switch to something more liberating, then resign yourself back to the box with the Pocahontas tune. Or instead, take a tomahawk and break the damn box down.

  4. Oooh I like that idea of mashing up two songs! I do use a tomahawk to get out of the box but breaking it down might be really cool!! and then light it on fire! LOL.

  5. Do you think you can make tassels out of corn silk?