May 21, 2012

Busy Week Before Vegas!

Here's one of my favorite photos from the series I did with David Bowles at the Hudson Opera House. I love it for many reasons, but as my favorite blogger and THE expert on all vintage Asian cinema historical information, Durian Dave commented and perfectly encapsulated, "The shoot powerfully evokes the enduring vitality of burlesque from the 19th century to the 21st."

What he said has been on my mind a lot lately along with asking myself questions like where do I want to go with burlesque? What is my goal? And what is that feeling and voice I am hearing in the back of my head about something... (I swear it's not the devil talking although that might be interesting). I recently watched the PBS documentary called "Hollywood Chinese"  and it had a profound effect on me. It was inspiring to say the least but it also gave a really good overall sweep of the history of Chinese people in the acting/entertaining world. There were tons of interviews with Chinese actors which basically were almost everyone who appeared in "Joy Luck Club" - and tons of interviews with famous Chinese directors like Ang Lee, Wayne Wang, etc. They were focused on the Chinese in Hollywood only, not Japanese, Korean, or Southeast Asians. Over and over again in almost every interview, they talked about the difficulty of representing a real experience and a real character  when there were no scripts written for Chinese actors. The documentary showed a clip of Justin Lin's Q&A session at The Sundance for his film A Better Luck Tomorrow and how one audience member stood up and asked why he made such a sad, horrible film showing all these Asian American youths as violent and angry. Then Roger Ebert stood up and basically condemned that guy's comment as offensive and asked why should this film "represent" any particular "model minority" experience? He then said that this film has a right to exist as it is because it represents an individual experience. I don't have any articulated thoughts about myself yet, but it is an enthralling documentary that I highly recommend!

This is my last week before I leave for Las Vegas' Burlesque Hall of Fame! I am getting more and more excited but also really paranoid that the airline will lost my luggage and my fans. I'm going to try to cram as much as I can in my carry-on so, in the worst case scenario, my costume will still be with me, just no fans. Everyone is neck deep in planning their outfits by day, outfits by night. That's all I've been seeing on Twitter and Facebook. I haven't even started planning because I have to get through this week with several meetings and rehearsals, then next Monday is Macao Trading Company's annual Drunken Dragon Festival party in which Shanghai Foxtrot (Shien, Jesse, Blanca) will be performing at and I will be hosting and performing with Nikki Le Villain ("snake girl" - lol). Then I have "Les Fleurs de Shanghai" show on Wednesday, May 30 at Duane Park! Then I'll pack....I hope to see you there!

Photo by David Bowles


  1. You look good in these classic-style outfits, Calamity. (You probably already knew that, but I just figured I'd say so too.)

  2. You look 10 feet tall in this picture! My fave Chinese girl <3