Apr 20, 2011

Birthday Week Recap (Lotta Pictures!)

My birthday week began on Monday night with an extremely triumphant return to TriBeCa's favorite Asian-Portuguese fusion restaurant's monthly word-of-mouth show "Drunken Dragon Nights"! The last time I was there for DDN as I call it was in February. But show time moves at an accelerated speed than "profane" time (who gets the reference? I will give you a free Beatles Burlesque tshirt!) so it felt like it's been six months away.

The night began with a cocktail class on rye whiskey led by Dushan Zaric. From what I could see, there were plenty of cocktails to sample and lots of nibbles passed around on plates. The class portion is 2 hours from 7-9pm and admission is $55 a person, I believe. Many people ask me when DDN is and the annoying answer is, "It depends." This show and party is word-of-mouth. There are 2 foolproof ways to get in the know:
  1. Find my fan page on Facebook (click here) where I always announce every show I'm in
  2. Sign up for my email news because that's where I announce the most coveted shows to attend. Don't worry, I send out at most 3 emails a month and you can unsubscribe anonymously without having to send me an awkward email saying, "Um, please take me off your email list. I don't care."
After the class and the food plates, the burlesque portion began at 10 PM. DJ Dom manned the soundbooth and the girls got ready. The room went from being only half-full to completely packed with everyone standing on the chairs and booths. The audience was Macao has been great consistently every time! Gal Friday probably is the one performer that has done DDN every single time and she agreed about the audience. They were very considerate and made a nice cleared off area in front of the bar for us to dance in. The line-up moves pretty fast at DDN with no breaks. I always change in the kitchen which reminds me of old Dim Sum Burlesque at Chow Bar where I would change next to the refrigerators and dishwasher. Gabi Porter from Metromix was in attendance along with the illustrious Luma Rouge.

Thursday night at Nurse Bettie was spectacular! It was an extra long show with extra performers than usual. There were balloons and cupcakes and I saw a lot of familiar faces like Frances, Caprice, Bill (from LA), Mark without Lauren, it was old skool style!

Friday night capped off with the show at Hotel Chantelle. Because there were a couple of big reservations arriving at 10pm, the show started early meaning on time at 9pm to a quiet, smaller crowd. Though small, they were enthusiastic and generous with their appreciation.

Gal Friday! Photo by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

Ekaterina. Photo by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

Photo by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

Nikki Le Villain. Photo by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

My Champagne Bath Finale. Photo by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

A rare behind-the-scenes shot! Only girls allowed by Gabi Porter for MetroMix NY

Live drawing Ekat during the show by Luma Rouge
Live drawing Nikki Le Villain during the show by Luma Rouge
Live drawing Gal Friday during the show by Luma Rouge

Live drawing Ekat during the show by Luma Rouge
My Champagne Bath! I love this. By Luma Rouge
Thursday night at Nurse Bettie, Tansy Tan Dora (pictured left) did a special birthday act for me. Her entire dress was made out of birthday wrapping paper!! She even made pleats out of her dress and a little bra top! I was so moved by the thought and creativity that went into this. So amazing!

After Nurse Bettie, I went to see the bitches at Meaner, Harder, Leather at Vig27 and to hear Brassy sing. I have to say, when I watch these drag queens do their thang, I learn more about being feminine from watching them! The walking, the posing, and the secret weapon of knowing WHEN to just stand still and let the audience absorb you. Many new performers feel like they have to always be doing something when on stage, I was there once too. But sometimes you have to slow down, relish that 3-4minutes, and allow your audience to just look at you.
Stormy at Meaner, Harder, Leather at Vig27
Ms Mocha Lite

Stormy makes moping XXX while Santiago shoots

Veruca La'Piranha. She was F-I-E-R-C-E!! Her movements were ON POINT. Everyone should learn something from her.

Apr 15, 2011

Follow Up: French Spirits Soiree: Pictures by Gabi Porter

Last night was seriously fun, fast paced, and intense. I made it to all three gigs on time and knocked it out. It's really amazing to do the same act three times in one night at three different venues and very different crowd every time. By the end of the night, the act reached a new level of growth and I discovered a couple of new corners and gestures in it.

Here are some of my favorites from the French Spirits Soiree event which was so beautiful, sophisticated, and full. The party was really fun and so many fancy cocktails, bread, cheese, and meat plates. The full album is by Gabi Porter for MetroMix. I'm finally in MetroMix!!! Bloody time!

Charlie Gunn & Tina Tassels

The Hot Sardines, they were so good

Doing my sparklers act in front of the window with full view access for the pedestrians on the street

Check out the people outside. LOL.

Apr 12, 2011

Immortal-Rouged by Luma Rouge

The illustrious Luma Rouge came to Monday's Beatles Burlesque show and created some of her famous live drawing illustrations. If you are not familiar with Luma's work, you should definitely check out her drawings. She does them live at the show with a pencil and brush with a palette of no more than 20-ish colors. I tried to watch her the couple of times she has attended Beatles Burlesque, and you just sort of see her hands flurry over her sketchpad with broad strokes, then before your eyes, it's a thigh, a leg, a heel, a smile, tussled hair, magnificent feathers. All the while she is jammin along to the music too! It's one of those moments when you know you are in the presence of serious talent and artistry.

Here's the link to the rest of the drawings on her Facebook. 
By Luma Rouge
To see more of her work, framed and ready for purchase, click here for her ImageKind Gallery.
Learn more about Luma, click here for her web site.

Apr 8, 2011

French Spirits Soiree! Thursday, April 14!

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Now here's a private event gig that I am really looking forward to! If I wasn't performing in it, I would go myself as a civilian and indulge in the cheese & charcuterie plate by Murray's Cheese and sample UNLIMITED drinks du jour from the hedonistic era of La Belle Epoque like absinthe and other Parisian cocktails. Just thinking about the event makes me feel sophisticated. Who needs an English degree from a fancy university when you can pay a mere $55 and pontificate with the best of them?

Oh wait, the VIP $55 is SOLD OUT already. Well, you can still get the freshman $40 for general entry from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available by CLICKING HERE.

There's cabaret live music provided by The Hot Sardines who I am looking forward to meeting. For those familiar with the scene they have performed at Juliette's Shanghai Mermaid parties as well as Don Spiro and Diane Naegel's Wit's End parties. More details click here.

I'll be going on around 8pm (but I'm most likely gonna be there hanging out early to "absorb" the scene) then head to my weekly show "Spanking the Lower East Side" at Nurse Bettie followed by Stormy Leather's "Meaner, Harder, Leather" at Vig27. It's a tripleXXX night.

Apr 5, 2011

The Scar

Photo by Ian Vollmer

Many of you know or have seen the long scar running six inches vertically down my stomach. I don't think about the scar much, in fact, 99% of the time it barely registers in my mind. I've grown so accustomed to seeing it every time I look in the mirror naked that I've honestly forgotten about it much like the tattoos on my forearm and on my back. So it is surprising and slightly thrilling when new audience members notice it for the first time.

I know many of you wonder how I got it. Performers often ask once they get to know me better and know I wouldn't feel offended talking about it. I wish I could say that I got it in an alley fight over a man, a drunken brawl over rhinestoned stilettos, a gang fight defending a friend's honor, or some such. But alas, the truth is no where nearly as glamorous or exciting as the fiction in my mind. I got the scar because of obstructed bowel. What that means is a foot of my intestines got tangled around old abdominal scar tissue (appendicitis in my case from when I was 8) and then became strangled. Once it was strangled, it blocked everything in my intestines from moving regularly and thus the obstruction. Unfortunately for me, I thought it was food poison so stayed home for 3 more days before realizing that something was seriously wrong when I looked in the bathroom mirror. I was breaking out in torrential sweat even though I felt extremely cold, my face was pale, and my stomach was distended. I couldn't even hold water down. My boyfriend at the time had no experience with anything like this either so he was no help. The pain, oh my god, was worse than anything I've ever experienced and it came in wave after wave. Finally I called the ambulance at 3am and it took me to Cabrini Hospital in the East Village. They mis-diagnosed me and sent me home with some Ibruprofin believing that it was a case of food poison as well. Cabrini has since been shut down, hooray! I went home for another two days before Dwight Yokam told me I was dying.

I KID YOU NOT. In my fever, pain, and cold sweating, Dwight Yokam who I have never listened to or know anything about, told me in a hallucination that I was dying and had to call 911 ASAP. I did. This time they took me to Beth Israel Hospital. Fortunately the staff there knew I was in a bad place and triaged me accordingly. I had no health insurance at the time either. They sent me to surgery immediately, opened me up and removed the entangled and dead intestine (over a foot long!). I was in ICU for another week, then another week sharing a room with a few random old ladies while waiting for my intestines to reconnect and get going again. Meaning, every morning, a group of HOT male doctors would come in and ask me if I've pooped or farted yet. When you can do either of those activities, it means your bowels are functional again. Talk about humiliating...

So that's how I got my scar. Also for those who are not familiar with scars, C-section scars run horizontally from hip to hip, not vertically.

Recently one of my Asian fans (I seem to have a large Asian fan base) posted on Facebook a picture of me performing with my arms raised high and my scar full-frontal. That picture generated a long thread of comments from his seemingly all-Asian friends (I am assuming based on their last names). It was surprising to me to read that almost all the women thought a naked woman with a scar should not be showing her "defect" publicly. One woman wrote, "ew..." Another girl wrote something about how she did not want to see something like that. And another simply wrote, "whoa..." which could be construed as positive, I guess. Then there was a debate about whether I was hot or not, but discussed in a way that was not a personal attack - simply more about whether a marked body should be displayed in public. The "standard of beauty" phrase was thrown around. Many of the male commentators were pro-scars and wrote things like, "Girls with scars are sexy...lol" and "There is a standard for beauty globaly. Sure Confidence and feeling secure about one's self helps, but we can't ignore the fact that some women have it and some have not." And lastly my favorite, "Of course ,there are exceptions too. For instance, a girl might look good to a man and look ugly to another man's eyes. That is why there is a saying 'Beauty is to the eyes of be holder...'" Oh, and another guy wrote that he thought I looked like a man. That was new and I've never heard of that one!

To my fan's credit, he artfully defended the art of striptease and "alternative" ideas of physical beauty to the end. I have a feeling that among his friends he is the "crazy, artsy" one who introduces the rest to events they typically would never experience or have prejudices about. Go! XXXX FAN!

The thread of comments ended when I jumped in. If you're going to talk about me, I will talk back. Quite frankly, I was excited that my scar generated such a controversy. I wrote, "For the record, my Chinese mom also thinks its odd that I would want to show off my scar. It's a common traditional way of thinking, and I don't abide by that. I've never abid...ed by anything conventional or common. The scar was was an obstructed bowel surgery I had 8 years ago where I almost died. To me it's a big FUCK YOU to conventional ideas of beauty, and like I always say in my show, if you don't like what you see, the door is right there. Thanks XXXX for being such a great supporter."

I'm not impervious to negative comments and insecurities. There have been times when private event promoters ask to see pictures of me beforehand, and there is always that moment of doubt when I wonder if my scar makes me less desirable and appropriate for their event, or if my scar literally "marks" me and my acts as more "sideshow" for "edgier" venues. Although I've never felt ashamed or embarassed by it, I do sometimes try to put some cover-up makeup on it. It doesn't do anything anyway so I've stopped doing it. I suppose part of putting yourself out there in public is knowing that people will talk and "opine" (my shortened version of opiniate). We do it to celebrities all the time. We do it to people on television. Any one who is in the public eye for whatever reason. We criticize. We judge. We talk about whether so-and-so is ugly, fat, too skinny, shouldn't be dating this or that, on and on and on. For most part its fun talk. But the desire and drive are there in everyone. I understand that and I'm not afraid.

Cause what can ya do? The scar is on me. It's a part of me. I can't get rid of it. I can't cover it up cause I'm too lazy and cheap to spend money on cover-up makeup. It's my life history mapped on my body. Take it or leave it. The exit door is there.

Me & My Controversial Scar

New weekly flyer for "Spanking the Lower East Side" Thursday Nights