Feb 9, 2012

Dallas Burlesque Festival 2012 & Lots of Other Info & Pics!

I just returned from my trip down home to Dallas, Texas to perform in the 4th Annual Dallas Burlesque Festival produced by The Ruby Revue, one of the biggest burlesque troupes in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. One of the producers, Ginger Valentine, was just recently crowned "Queen of Burlesque" at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. You may wonder, what's the big deal with the festivals? Well, you are not alone. You are asking the same question as my Mom! She was surprised when I told her that we don't get paid to perform in the festivals, if we are lucky, we get an honorarium which can vary from $25-300 depending on your level of "fame". The headliners (for instance, in the Dallas festival, they were Michelle L'amour (Chicago), The Schlepp Sisters (NYC), and Bazuka Joe (Chicago)) will usually have their airfare and accommodations covered by the show producers. The rest are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation. I could see my mom's reaction. Naturally her next question was, "What do you get out of it? You spend so much money! How come you girls don't have personal sponsors? Someone should start a 'scholarship' or something for you all to apply for to cover your costs for costuming and flying around."

All good questions which I tried to answer. I explained firstly, for me, I like to travel and go to cities I've never been to or cities where I have friends (and obviously family) in so that factor greater determines my application decision. Secondly, festivals are worth doing because you get to meet other performers and expand your network. As a producer I am always looking for established, out-of-town performers to shake things up here a bit. It's immeasurably valuable for me to meet some of the ladies in person and watch them perform in person. And thirdly, I think every performer secretly wants to win a title of some kind if they are performing in a pageant-based festival. These titles don't really mean much in the real world sense. They are only relevant in the burlesque community. Most civilians don't know what the titles are or care, but performers are still introduced with a string of titles they've won such as "Miss Coney Island", "Best Debut at the Burlesque Hall of Fame", "The Legends Award" so on and so forth. The creativity behind the titles are amusing. The biggest honor, however, is to perform AND be titled in the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas. This festival is THE Oscars for burlesquers. It's also like a weekend summer camp for performers and burlesque aficionados alike. I have never been but perhaps this year I will. 

The Dallas festival took place at the House of Blues, and the place was HUGE. I have seen the girls of Ruby Revue perform at the anniversary show last year and I thought they were all very talented, detail oriented, and super polished. So it was really awesome to meet at least three of them in person: Ginger Valentine, Missy Lisa, and Black Mariah (who I met in an elevator, drunk, when I was in New Orleans). The girls also had Tami True on the set list. If you don't know who she is, she's one of the legends from the olden days before "burlesque" is feminist and it was just straight up stripping. Tami True was one of the headline dancers at the striptease club The Carousel Club owned by the infamous Jack Ruby! She is now 70-something but still spitfire. We were both in the second set on Saturday night and we shared a small gripe backstage about how it was already midnight and we still haven't performed yet. If you look up anything related to Jack Ruby, she will show up. I even saw a documentary about Jack Ruby where her name was lit up in the marquee outside the Carousel.

On another smaller stage the "All Stars Weekend" boy band was playing. I heard that they are on the Disney Channel but there was a HUGE line of pre-teen and teenage girls lined up outside the venue at 430pm waiting for them! I don't know who they are but they seem popular with the teen girls. They were in another dressing room but seemed very curious about all the burlesque performers changing backstage. Hahaha. This was the biggest stage I've performed on besides the Colorado Burlesque Festival which is really good too. I highly recommend applying for both Dallas and Colorado's festivals! My mom, aunt, my brother and my man were in attendance on my night. And my old childhood friend came with a friend of hers. And I am happy to report that thanks to those of you (Dixie Rising in particular) who commented on my Facebook wall inquiring about the right color of stage lighting for Asian complexion, I asked for a pink light and it looked simply MAAAARVELOUS! 

(I've now started to watermark all my pictures front and center because people keep stealing my photos and not crediting who I am or at least who the photographer is. Sorry for the visual disturbance..)

And the dressing room is BIGGER than my old studio apartment in LES
I love going home to Texas. I don't take my computer so I am away from technology (except my iPhone), I don't have to think about what to feed myself every day (my Mom is a killer cook), and I sleep in every day and go shopping with my Mom and aunt. The biggest decision I have to make while at home is whether or not I should indulge in fast food dri-thru. It's so nice to give my brain a rest for a few days. We closed out the festival weekend at the Sunday Awards & Show at Dish Restaurant in a nice neighborhood that looked to me like the "Chelsea of Dallas". Everyone in my family came even my dad! I didn't perform so it was okay for him to be there. My sixteen year old cousin had to stay home with Chewie but he didn't mind. I don't think he knows what "burlesque" is yet. He just immigrated to the States from Taiwan less than a year old and teenagers in Taiwan are much less precocious than American teens. The food was delicious and so were the drinks! The show was really fun and had more sing/strip acts than the Saturday night show. I got to meet more girls from Dallas and elsewhere. My brother wanted pictures with everyone! My dad said afterwards that he wasn't very shocked but then again he was drinking whiskey straight up.

I am wearing Michael (on the right) and Haute Hippie dress (on myself)

Rockin out my vintage Norwegian fox stole
Group shot at the end of Sunday night's dinner & show! I have my finger inside Violet O'hara's cleave! Cha cha cha!

Back in NYC, I am happy to announce the return of "Drunken Dragon Nights" at Macao Trading Company on Monday, February 20! Two hours of open bar from 9-11pm with burlesque by myself, Gal Friday, Nikki Le Villain, and new to DDN, Tansy at 10pm! Kittening by Minx Arcana. It is a free event but you must RSVP to get past by our doorman Mauricio at info@macaonyc.com

Secondly, tonight, February 9, 2012 marks the 2nd year anniversary of my THURSDAY night at Nurse Bettie! Incredible, eh? I've never been committed to anything this long!

2nd year anniversary!
Thirdly (is there such a term?), "Les Fleurs de Shanghai" returns to Duane Park on Wednesday, February 29, 2012! Just so happens that this month's show lands on a leap year, how lucky for us! Last month's show sold out completely, even the bar was packed so don't wait til last minute and take your chances. Dinner & Show RSVP are required by calling Duane Park at 212.732.5555. I am extra excited this month to introduce our fans to an extraordinary musician from Julliard, Andy Lin, who will be playing the traditional Chinese instrument "er hu" which is absolutely and unbelievably haunting. It will bring tears to your eyes.

DeeDee Luxe (right) plays a mean hand of poker! "Les Fleurs de Shanghai", Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at Duane Park

Lastly, you can see me this Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 9 PM on the quirky TV series "Oddities" on Science Channel! If you are unfamiliar with the show, I highly recommend it! It's about an old antique shop in the East Village of NYC and all the quirky characters who come in looking for particular items. They are not your grandmother's kind of antique shop. Tune in to my episode called "Seeing Scars"! (Read my earlier post about being filmed for the episode here)

"Seeing Scars" on ODDITIES, Saturday 9PM, February 11, 2012 on Science Channel


  1. Just saw the Oddities episode! You were so hot! Hope to see your show next time I'm in NYC!

    1. Thanks Andrew! Seems like everyone has seen the episode except me! I don't have premium cable...