Jun 29, 2010

Surgery

Don't worry it wasn't a big deal. It was an ugly cyst I have had on my back, on my left shoulder, for many years now. It kept getting bigger over the years and I didn't have health insurance to cover it. Finally, what drove me over the edge was constantly having to Photoshop it out of all my pictures!! That's really the only thing I have to retouch and it drove me nuts. And also having people ask me if I'm "ok" - it kind of ruins the whole glamorous night life mirage when this tumor-like thing is on your back and solicits concerned questions from strangers who are just out having a good time trying to forget reality for a night.

So it's gone! Dr. Harrison is top notch! He gave me anesthesia around the cyst then another shot that lasted longer. When he was cutting, I couldn't feel anything at all. I could feel my skin being tugged and some slight pressure, and at times, it felt like he was threading a fishing line through my skin, but there was absolutely no pain. So weird and a bit scary. It made me think of horror films (The Ruins, Tourista, two of my personal favs) where you have a few drinks somewhere and you wake up with one kidney missing! The whole thing was finished in two hours. Then when I looked on the tray, I saw my cyst!!!















It looked like a small bloody pearl onion with all this tissue wrapped around it, all gooey!! SO GROSS!!! Parts of it looked "cooked" because Dr. Harrison used a mini scorcher to stop the bleeding, and it looked, seriousy, like cooked pork chop. Same color. Same texture. SO GROSS. I had to take a picture of it! I got 4 stitches and a bandage which will come off on Thursday along with the stitches.

I'm still performing in Tansy's theater play, "Eager to Lose: a Panto Burlesque" tmrw night at 8PM, bandage and all! It sounds like a Fellini-esque production, a "behind the scenes", the makings of the makings of something, like Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy - cause Tansy said it was okay for me to have the bandage and perform. I can't wait to see what this play is about! Gemini Rising, Grace Gotham, and Albert Cadabra are all in it - so I know this is gonna be fun!

Jun 27, 2010

Voodoo Necklace

I performed in Velocity's BadAss! Show last night and it was so awesome!! She had bottles and bottles of red wine and water for us backstage which I thought, as a performer, is a nice touch cause you don't have to worry about going out to the bar with a drink ticket and asking for water every 30 minutes, like me. I drink a lot of water! Her stage manager Faceboy who also happens to be a bread baker brought a big loaf of bread too that I stuffed my face with after the show.

During the day Rosewood and I exchanged many emails regarding how I should do the final reveal for my equestrian number. I wanted to really use the butt plug but have been having technical difficulties. Anyway, the solution was found before the show and it went smoothly and I was VERY happy with how I am now going to do this act. Too bad the sight line at Arlene's Grocery is suck ass cause only the people in the very front can get the full view.

I had a great Sunday today getting a facial and I went to get supplies to make this necklace I saw yesterday while walking around SoHo with Michael and Chewie. This necklace is AMAZING. It's made of black rooster feathers, leather, thin chains, and drapes around your neck like something a witch doctor from the bayou would wear. The price tag: $660!!!!!! So I went to Bead World today and got all the ingredients to replicate this necklace today while watching Coco Before Chanel - I didn't know anything about her background and the guy she loved died while away! That makes me sad. Anyway - the necklace didn't come out exactly the same and now that I'm looking at it, it's definitely a "statement piece" - it kind of looks like something someone from Conan the Barbarian would wear. I'll take it out for a spin tmrw to work and see what happens.
Haha.

Jun 22, 2010

Two Worlds Become One

Phew, I am finally coming up for air! I can't believe it wasn't that long ago when I was lounging around the pool in Mexico with nothing to do but finish reading that annoying book "A Reliable Woman" - and now, two new monthly shows done and successfully underway, and I'm in my second week settling in at the new freelance gig.

First up, the Coco de Mer show. Exquisite. So special to me. That's the only way I can describe it. The intimate salon setting of 35 people, the delicious open bar by 42 Below served by the handsome, lady-fav Masa, the acts by Madame Rosebud (Story of O, Venus in Fur) and Amber Ray doing my two favorites of her acts which also happened to be two of her heaviest acts, as she was quick to inform me upon arrival with luggage in tow. :) Romina and Abby made the night go very smoothly and with Matt and Michael doing AV/sound, I couldn't have asked for a better crew. Michael gets special kudos for assisting me in, er, getting into gear, let's just call it that, for my new equestrian act. There was some gear malfunction that Rosebud warned me about but all in all it was very amusing to everyone who knows about it. I don't want to give it away cause I will be doing this act frequently - it is my new favorite. The next Coco de Mer show is July 24th. I will be integrating more and more Coco de Mer products into the acts. My vision for this show and partnership is to give the outside world a glimpse of the secret language of fetish by utilizing objects to tell a story through the use of burlesque theater. I've got my eyes set on this beauty:

Second, last night, was Drunken Dragon Nights at Macao Trading Company. This was a tremendously energetic and enthusiastic crowd!! So much fun and all without a stage! Having the open bar for two hours before the show did not hurt getting people all roused up. Or, rather, I should say, AROUSED up. This was a horny crowd!!! I guess that's better than being an ornery crowd. Mwah ha ha. It must be all the erotic Asian posters on the hallway and in the bathroom, the jade dildos in the display case, and the dim red lighting. When I was strutting around pre-show, many people asked when the show was starting so I knew that a lot of people there stayed late to see the show. I did a two-in-one act where I stripped out of my new MC-ing dress (see here) to a song from the classic striptease CD that every burlesquer has - then it segways into my usual fan dance number, the 1930s Japanese cover of "St. Louis Blues". This was actually the first time I've danced to a song from the classic striptease CD and I can see why it is so popular! Such a big sound for strutting and bumping, such attitude. Even if I was full of a bag of cheese puffs (my favorite guilty time snack!) and a Chipotle burrito, I would still feel sexy rehearsing to this CD.

I spoke to several people afterwards who all said they loved the show. I knew about ten people in the crowd, but the rest, I didn't know. It was on the sausage festival heavy side. But it was a great room to be in. All the boys at Macao (Igor, Brian, Karato, Rizo etc) are so gallant and knightly. They definitely make a girl feel safe performing there and we were lushed on with the specialty Don Julio Tequila cocktails all night. Thanks Don Julio! I was especially pleased when a group of Chinese girls thronged me after the show and complimented me on how much they loved the fan dance. They took photos with me and I was so happy to see that not all Chinese females resort to high turtlenecks and making babies and rice at home. Holla sistas! I hope they come back again and eventually join me on the dark side. WA HA HA. One of the audience members, male, asked me where I got my boobs being Asian and all. My reply? "Your fucking American diet, that's where."

Day time work wise, I found myself saying, "I'm looking forward to going to work on Monday!" which I have not heard myself say in a good few years! This new place is so awesome. I am definitely creatively stimulated. A part of my job consists of designing web sites and fancy Facebook applications, and another part is coming up with event planning. Hello!? Is that not like my night time job? The best part? Everyone knows about my burlesque career and loves it. Finally, two worlds become one. Ah...

I have a couple nights off then it's Nurse Bettie Wednesday and Thursday night, and on Saturday, I'm at BadAss! Bettie Page Tribute at Arlene's Grocery at midnight. I am so excited about this show because so many great performers are in it and it's hosted by World Famous BOB!

On Wednesday, June 30, I will also be doing something with Tansy at her theater play at The Tank called "Eager to Loose: a Panto Burlesque" - I don't know what that means but she's a pal and I'm happy to do an act or two at her play!


Jun 17, 2010

A new Hat by Little Stormy, 25% discount at Coco de Mer & Bad Ass Bettie Page!

Just have a few minutes to blog quickly about the last few days. Been working at a new agency and the hours have been 10-10!

However, the highlight of my week thus far has been this amazing hat custom-made for me by It's a Little Stormy that I'll be wearing at the Coco de Mer show this Saturday night!


















Speaking of which, there is now a special promo set up just for me for anything online! 25% off all merchandise at CocodeMerUSA.com when you use promo code "CHANG" - except books. Ends June 25!

I am also so pleased and honored to be invited to be in Velocity Chadd's BadAss! Burlesque Bettie Page tribute show on Saturday, June 26 at Arlene's Grocery! I saw this show last year and I was just a wee little face in the crowd and this year I get to be in it! Woo hoo! Who wants to go back in time? NOT ME!

Jun 11, 2010

Adventures with Facebook Ads!

I've been trying out Facebook ads to promote Beatles Burlesque (Monday, June 12) and the Coco de Mer show (Saturday, June 21).















It's high time I made the foray into social networking advertising since this is the career I've spent the last decade working in. I find that I actually DO notice the little ads on the right-hand side when I'm on Facebook (which is A LOT) whereas I've - and I think most people have as well - become numbed by Flash banner ads on major sites like CNN, iVillage, MSN, etc. Everyone I ask say they never pay attention to those banners whereas everyone I've asked about Facebook ads say they DO notice and click on them. Some of the FB ads are horrendous, made to be ultra simple with one image, one headline, and one short blurb. It's designed inside the FB environment which makes it reallly easy to create an ad yourself but that also means anyone Tom, Dick, and Sally can make one - such as the below atrocious example of letting the mass get creative (for more examples, click here):











I come from the world of rich media campaigns with fancy rollovers, expanding skyscraper units, mini-site-in-a-box, video embedded, eyeblasters, etc etc etc, so it is really refreshing to see ads that are simple with nothing running across the page or some art director's clever trompe l'oiele spicy chicken sandwich "burning a hole" in my browser page. An effective one-hitter.

So how effective have my two ads been? Well, its only been 3 days but it is really exciting to log on every few hours to see how many clicks they've gotten. The numbers keep climbing up! Creating the ad itself is really easy. Then you can select who you want to target via age, sex, relationship status, geographic location, etc. You can further target users who may already be connected to your fan page (if you have one) or users who are NOT connected to a specific fan page. You can select how long the campaign will last, and you can specify how much money you are willing to spend a day based on clicks and/or impressions. (Clicks are when a user actually clicks on your banner and impressions just mean when the ad is served up and appears on a user's page). I have also learned some do's and don'ts in my playing around. For instance, targeting too many groups based on "interests" will limit how often your ad is served up which means less people see it and less clicks and less effective. Unless you are VERY specific and selling something like "dwarf frog fans who like to cross-dress as devil clowns" then I would suggest skipping that "Interests" part completely. If you are selling an event, you definitely want to reach as many people as possible. Facebook is also very strict about not showing nudity so I had to crop my pictures a few times until the ads were approved. Be selective about the words you choose too. They don't allow any porn or dirty words like "cum". ha ha.

One last thing, as a Facebook abuser, I don't want to leave the page. It annoys me if I click on an ad and it replaces the page I was on. So make sure you create an event page first then create an ad that links to that event instead of an external link to another site. Here's someone's write-up about how he didn't like FB ads. He has some good points. I think it's still a good place to try out your target audience, especially if you are trying to build brand awareness. FB's impressions alone is worth it.

I'm so psyched about having the weekend off to work on my new piece for Coco de Mer. Monday night is Beatles Burlesque. And based on what I'm hearing, it's going to be really packed! There may be free delicious nibbles (not niPPles) passed out at this show. :)

Jun 9, 2010

Drunken Dragon Nights @ Macao Trading Co. June 21 Monday













Macao Trading Co. cordially invites you to attend our new addition to Drunken Dragon Nights on Monday. Burlesque cabaret featuring hostess Calamity Chang, Dame Cuchifrita, The Maine Attraction, Broadway Brassy, and Albert Cadabra!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lounge Open Bar 10pm-midnight. Show at Midnight. No cover.

Sponsored by Tequila Don Julio.

For more information, check out http://www.macaonyc.com/

Jun 8, 2010

June Happenin

I'm back from Mexico and it was the most amazing 8 days - I so needed that. I met many managers and venue owners who are very keen on bringing burlesque to Playa del Carmen. A few of them were able to see my two acts that I did at Danae and Darren's wedding. I did the black fan dance and my red priestess act. I learned a few things about performing in the Mexican heat on the roof of a boutique hotel such as wind factor and "people drunk" factor. A) I did not anticipate wind inteferring with how I maneuver my fans. B) I did not anticipate my costume being worn on the heads of the wedding party like it was Halloween for them - PET PEEVE NÚMERO UNO!!! C) Glitter is REALLY itchy and scratchy on your skin in the heat!! I performed at Harlow's Hideaway the night I got back to NYC and that was a very unusual way to transition back into my life here. I was so chilled out from days of doing nothing but lay on the beach, the pool, eat ceviche and fish tacos, and cocktails with friends at night. Playa has an intense night life on par with NYC if not more! It was like a mini-Ibiza without the foam parties, altho they just opened a foam party club in Cancun.

This month is going to be really intense and busy. I have to work hard and make sure I don't get sick - ALTHO I did bring back some Mexican pharmaceuticals that's too expensive here so I won't get sick! HA!

Let's kick off this month with some big news!!!!