May 31, 2010

Quick recap & ketchup...

...Before my flight to Mexico. I'm going to spend a week in PDC (Playa del Carmen) for fun and also for my friends Danae and Darren's wedding. They asked me to perform two numbers at their reception which will also include four mariachi bands, a rope trickster, and something with a horse? It sounds like they are planning quite a spectacle and extravaganza which is what I've always come to expect from my kiwi friends. Whenever they throw a party it's always memorable to say the least!

While I'm waiting for this 530am flight I figure I could do a picture recap of the last week starting with-

Dame Cuchifrita and I backstage at Macao Trading Company's "Drunken Dragon" party on Monday night. We were courtesans for The House of Dangerkat and had our faces and cleavage airbrushed with magenta and gold glitter. It was a really fun party with evryone dressed up in Asian-inspired costumes. There was even a cocktail named "Calamity Chang" that Dashun had made with honey and vodka - my two fav cocktail ingredients!

This beauty is from Coco de Mer, just one of the many beautiful leather items that I will be featuring at the June 19 show "Spreading the Curtains". We are using various Coco de Mer accessories, toys, products and integrating them into our acts. Some will be featured soli as a demo skit. I'm SO excited about this show!!!

Me backstage in the dressing room at DJ Jess' INSANELY wild and spectacular Trash! Party at Webster Hall on Friday night. This was the first time I performed at Jess' gig but I've heard many good things about it. I did my nun act which was perfect for this gig. It was really awesome. I'm really liking doing these night club gigs! It's like old club kid days when I was a cigarette girl. There are some crazy photos from the party on Jess' site.

This weekend we (Michael, Brassy, and I) went to perform at Lil Steph's Bravissimo Burlesque show at WineO. This was my first show away from home and my first visit to Philly. I am very fond of Steph cuz otherwise it would take a lot to get me to schlep out of the city to do a show. I'm so lazy! Brassy did "mama" and "magic man" with Michael on git. I did the black fan and the red priestess then we closed the show with "talk dirty to me" with BB singing and M on git again.

Rehearsing in the hotel room. The show started a whole hour late because of the game. The Flyers against somebody. But once we started the audience was amazing! The host Count Sotchula was hilarious!

The only sucky thing about the trip was michaels camera got totally swiped off the table wevwere sitting at on the sidewalk about this lame sports bar called Thr Plough and Stars. I'm still convinced that someone who worked there took it.

Woohoo my flight is here! Hasta luego!

May 21, 2010


For the last 2 nights I stayed in because I had a bunch of promotional and booking stuff to do. I went to the gym during the day, made food at home, and it was nice. But - apparently 2 nights in is all I can handle bcause last night at Nurse Bettie I was in a MOOD and by the end of the night I was on the bar dancing to Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts". Who remembers and LOVES that song??? I do! And woah, I just remembered now that I made a reference to the 4th dimension as "time" - Hello, Rudy Rucker and Flatland! I was entranced by Gemini Rising's holographic pasties that looked like it was 3-D and somehow I ended up talking about time. Man. What did Jen put in my drink?? I didn't want to go home! When I did get home I was so wired I had to watch that dumb Lopez talk show to wind down. How could you not wind down watching boring crap like that at night?

In other news, my favorite speakeasy bar in the West Village, Employees Only, has now added one hot burlesque performer every Sunday night at midnight to spice things up! It's a one-off with no MC-ing or anything. I am booking for them. Amber Ray just did the first weekend, I am going this Sunday. I love working with the EO crew. They also own Macao Trading Company. Both venues treat performers with tremendous respect and will treat you like a star! I really enjoy working with them. The rest of the month and June looks like this:

May 30: Gal Friday
June 6: Dame Cuchifrita
June 13: Madame Rosebud
June 20: Lil Steph
June 27: Stormy Leather

July 11: The Maine Attraction
July 18: Pandora Scintillator

I am also SO excited about the Coco de Mer show on Saturday, June 19th with Amber Ray and Madame Rosebud. I want this to be glam, flash, showgirl, classic, fetish, and end it with an original erotic theater piece that Rosebud and I are co-creating. The show will start at 8pm with an open bar of a vodka punch bowl and 2 kinds of muddled cockta
ils (flavors will alternate month to month) - the cover is $25 a person. That's a pretty good deal for your starting point on a Saturday night out. Also the space is very limited, I think we can comfortably get in about 30-35 people in the show room, so it's not going to be one of those lame open bar clusterfuck scenarios where the line is like 10 deep (ie: Shecky's Girls Night Out with open bar is case in point). You will definitely get your drink on and we will get our burlesque on! RSVP is required though and you can do that by calling the store 212-966-9069.

More exciting news to be unveiled soon on June 11. Here's a glimpse...
Photo by Michael Webb.

May 17, 2010

Notes on Camp & Coming Out

I am officially out of my burlesque closet! No more secrets! No more weirdly silent phone conversations where the dialogue went something like this:

Parent: "How are things going? What are you up to tonight?"
Me: "Nothing. I'm, um, staying in tonight."

This is an AMAZING feeling so liberating!! The show at Chow Bar last night was a very meaningful night, the energy was high and my mom said she felt like a VIP attending a special Mother's Day show just for her. She is a HUGE opera fan and since I'm too poor to take her to the opera, I figured I could bring the opera to her so I asked Shelly the Singing Siren to come and do an aria. She knocked it out to Puccini's "O mio Babbino Caro". There's something about the intimacy of the room at Chow and hearing an operatic voice like that that just gives you goosebumps. Thank god for the big fake eyelashes prying my eyes open otherwise I would have shed a tear or two during her singing. My mom, however, did not hold back the tears. I saw her clapping as soon as the first few notes began then she dabbed away her tears with her napkin. I think most people in the audience were paying more attention to my mom's reaction throughout the night than to the performers. Lol. She was a surprisingly good sport tonight and stood up and waved to everyone when I called her out. She smiled the whole time. I know cause I spied on her from behind the window during the show. She said that when she saw me on the stage talking to the room and hosting that this was really who I was and what I have always wanted to do. I did not expect this kind of parental revelation and it was probably the most validating thing I have heard ever from anyone. At the end of Shelly's song, she got up and gave her a big hug. The applause went on through the hugging. That was when I knew the rest of the show was going to be great. I wanted Gal Friday in the show last night because no one can twirl tassels the way she does. Plus she is a superb performer AND a good person who I admire, and I wanted my mom to meet the best of the best. Gal did a longer act of superior asstastic derriere-ing (I think I just coined a new phrase) and tasseled the hell out of the room. My mom's jaw dropped. Dame Cuchifrita did her opium act and Brassy sang Magic Man with Michael playing along on guitar. The speakers at Chow are blowing out (why hasn't anyone replaced it??) and that caused a distortion on the guitar that further fed to my already accumulating angst towards the whole situation with the venue. Brassy and Shelly were so kind and did a fucking awesome duet that I couldn't watch cause I had to change in the kitchen. They are performing together again on May 31 at Public Assembly. If I wasn't going to be tanning in my nude thong in Mexico at Playa del Carmen by then, I would absolutely not miss that show. To close last night's show, I did my black feather fan dance. I knew she would like something classic and specially with the song which is an old Japanese cover of "St. Louis Blues" from the 1930s, it would go over well. She came up and hugged me and sobbed on my shoulder! I was floored. I had never anticipated such a reaction. After the show she even walked around to every table and talked to everyone. Apparently many people in the audience congratulated her on being my mom. Ha ha. I'm positive she did NOT feel fortunate when I was a teenager sneaking out of my window to meet my Jamaican boyfriend. Hahaha. Oh the irony of being an adult.

When we got home she was so excited that she couldn't go to sleep til 2am. Both Michael and I wanted to hear what she thought of everything. She said she was surprised at the level of nudity and skin exposure. She was expected Gypsy Rose Lee, vintage burlesque nudity. But this is a lot more. She also said she was impressed by all the women. Their independence and professionalism. She also felt reassured that I was NOT working in a strip club with scumbags. She did feel slightly embarrassed when she saw my boob peeking out underneath the fan.

Tonight she is making a big dinner for some friends. Tomorrow she leaves for Texas. Woo hoo I can have sex again!

May 11, 2010


Yoko Chang did not drop her pants this time at Beatles Burlesque part 2 on Monday night! She did however do an act to "Chinese Revolution". Michael's flight back from Budapest was expectedly delayed cause of the volcanic ash by 5 hours! Thankfully we had a backup plan and had ko Carl stand-in for him. He did a great job and was supportive and committed to the show. That worked out really well!

There's no show this Thursday at Nurse Bettie, because my mom is visiting for a week from Texas! I haven't gone home in a year (a long time for me) and she hasn't visited in 5 years. She's a nurse and is the only income earner so she works all the fucking time. When she does allow herself the luxury of travelling, i try to lavish her with as much as I can. This time i'm taking her to see Cirque du soleil's OVO which I've never seen and am actually looking forward to! Am also taking her to get facials in Chinatown, many dinners out to some of my favourite places, of course The Met museum, and I'm putting on a special Dim Sum Burlesque show for her called "coming out to my mom" show! I just want to fill the room so I dropped the cover to $5. I want to show her what I've been up to every Sunday night for the last six months. Then she is making a big dinner at home for some if my closest friends. Last time we all went to have Shabu shabu. But that place closed sadly.

I'm getting ready for two new shows. The first one is for Coco de Mer and the second one is for the TriBeCa restaurant Macao Trading Company. It's a monthly late mnday night show in their downstairs opium den called Drunken Dragon Nights named after the population Macanese festival that takes place in May. I'm learning more about the history and culture of Macao. It's fascinating! My parents recently went there. As for the show, I don't know what the cover will be but it does include two hours of open bar! I'm doing the shoot tmrw and someone famous whose name shall not be named is doing my makeup again. My inspiration for this show is all Asian covers of Western songs from the 30's-50's. Macao has a rich history of influences from China and Portugal so this has a lot of room to grow. I'm very excited to get these shows started and to get the Nurse Bettie show going bi-weekly (wed & thurs) as well! Thank god for that generous tax return that's allowing me to focus on shows for June!

May 7, 2010

Bitches, they come they go Saturday through Sunday, Monday through Sunday yo'

What a busy week! I've performed every night this week except for Tuesday when I did the photo shoot at Coco de Mer for the event on June 19. The show is called "Calamity Chang Presents Spreading the Curtains at Coco de Mer" and I am SO excited about this show. This show concept is going beyond burlesque. I'm having a couple of classic burlesque acts, but the rest is veering towards erotica performance art. Goddamn, why didn't my parents send me to theater classes!? Oh wait, I guess they did send me to ballet class when I was six years old, but I bombed cause I was NOT a dainty, waifey child - I was more like a bulldog in a china shop, as they say. Ironically I only liked to eat meat when I was little, but now I prefer to eat vegetables.
A chronology of the highlights of this week:
  • Sunday - Saw Rock of Ages! Was supposed to see it with Michael. Had a whole Sunday planned of playing "tourists". But the band had to rehearse for Beatles Burlesque and that night was the only night for them to all get together. So I went with my friend Jen, the only other person I know who would appreciate an 80's hair mental musical. That bummed me out a bit and maybe set me in a bad mood. Plus it was muggy and hot. And I am NOT a hot weather kind of girl!!! I want central air conditioning to follow me everywhere I go. So I got into a stupid fight with Michael over a misunderstanding and over-sensitivity on my part over something he wouldn't have any idea about. And I have this habit of storming off when I'm angry which I thought I inherited from my Mom cause she used to do that to my Dad all the time before they were married. He said they would be riding their bikes all happy go lucky down some leafy lane in rustic Taipei, Taiwan way back when, then suddenly she would get pissed over something he said and she would make a sharp turn on the next street and ride off into the sunset on her own. He says she has a bad temper, she says he should have chased after all and all would have been forgiven. Now, this piqued my interest so I asked a couple of girl friends who are in loving, committed relationships and apparently I'm not the only one who storms off when driven to madness - a lot of other girls do it too! Our reasoning was that we shut down emotionally and walking away from the situation is the only way we can cope with what's going on, and chasing us is a type of affirmation that we need to see from our partner that they have NOT shut down, that they in fact, are in control of their emotions and can rationally discuss things while we are having a fiery mental and lingual breakdown. Make sense? Well even if it does make sense, it's not constructive and I have to work on not doing that anymore. I think 99% of the time my ego and pride overwhelm me from making rational decisions and then it just becomes a Me1 Vs. Me2 infernal of too-proud-to-beg dialogue. Then I felt terrible because domestic bliss keeps me going and is what gives me the power to do what I do. People ask me all the time how I juggle having a day time career AND produce all the shows that I'm doing, and seriously the reason is because my emotional life is solid. This fight debilitated me for about 24 hours during which time I slept a lot and was so depressed. We did talk and worked things out and it made me so sad that I caused him pain. Bad Me2!
  • Monday - Met with Rosebud to go over some ideas for the Coco de Mer show. The inaugural show will be myself, Rosebud, and Amber Ray. Had a really great brainstorming session with her, talked shop and boys. Later that night, happiness is restored! I went to Honi's show feeling happy and good and did my Red Priestess act. Maddy Mann and Lexi did a new number called "Samson and Delilah" and it's just sheer genius. They are so brilliant and I realized they would be great for the new summer schedule at Nurse Bettie starting on Wed, June 9!
  • Tuesday - Michael shot me for the Coco de Mer show at the space where the show will actually take place. It was a VERY different shoot than what I'm accustomed to in the past. I had a real makeup artist do my makeup who was a friend of Michael's. At times things weren't going well, the vibe was wrong and I felt uncomfortable. But somehow it all worked out and we got 3 good shots in 4 hours. I absolutely LOVED the makeup. It transformed me and transformed the kind of shoot and image that came out. It went beyond anything I was expecting and is so much better. Afterwards I took everyone out to Cafe Colonial for food and wine. They have that pan de queso that I have NOT ever found anywhere in NYC since I lived in Bolivia. Yes, I've tried Mi Bolivia and I've scoured the bakeries in Queens, none of them come remotely close to the amazing mooshy, cheesy baked into the dough texture of this bread at Cafe Colonial. We looked over the photos while having our wine on the sidewalk in Soho.
  • Wednesday - My Hello Kitty costume from china finally arrived!!! I am beyond stoked about this act to Steel Panther's song called "Asian Hooker"!!!!! I will debut it Monday June 6 at Honi harlows show. Heres what i look like in this amazing costume:

    At night, I did two acts at Runaround Sue's Shaken N Stirred party at The Delancey with Grace Gotham, Kita St. Cyr, and Scooter Pie. I've never met Scooter Pie before and I think she is absolutely adorable. I asked her to gogo for Beatles Burlesque on Monday night and she said yes!
  • Thursday - Ticket to Ride rehearsed again this morning and they sound aamazing!!! There are some new songs that we added to the set list and (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) I am doing "Revolution" but Chinese style on Monday night. I am SO excited about this act because I am bringing back my first debut costume "China Girl" by Iggy Pop to "Revolution"! Then tonight was the Nurse Bettie show which is consistently packed and fun every Thursday. The last 3 weeks I've had a lot of Scandinavians for some reason! Swedes and Belgians too. They also do really well in the dance off competition even to Flo-Rida.
  • Friday - Tomorrow night I have a meeting with another hot spot venue who wants to discuss doing a recurring show at their space. Then it's Reform School Girls show at The Slipper Room at 8pm. My old high school friend Kathleen who moved to Seattle is actually going to be here and spending the night. She has never seen me do burlesque since she moved away! I don't have anything else for Saturday and Sunday except for rehearsing and resting up for Beatles Burlesque on Monday! Oh, and I am ordering Indian food delivery one night. Why is that such a big deal? Cause my bowel system does not love Indian food the way my taste buds love it so I only eat it when no one is home for a good 10 hours. But I did invite Brassy to come over so poor Brassy...
I'm really tired now. Gonna go to bed. XOXO.