Jan 24, 2012

Did you know...

Wednesday, 1/25/2012 at Duane Park
Did you know that the cabaret hostess ( ) in Shanghai during the 30s epitomized the beautiful yet dangerous modern girl who enjoyed the exalted status of wealth and fame much like Hollywood stars of our time! There was even a publication called "Crystal"that reported all the minute details of where the more famous hostesses were working at, who their lovers were, and various gossip completely dedicated to Shanghai's nightlife. The cabaret hostess became a figure of that embodied Shanghai's changing political and cultural climate during that war-torn time. Even in this tumultuous environment of multiple wars both civil and national, Shanghai became the hub of several artforms including Chinese cinema and Chinese popular music.
Here's an old photograph of cinemas from the 30s in Shanghai from Liangyou magazine another famous nightlife tabloid.

Jan 17, 2012

Blue+Yellow = Purple

In my pursuit to find the PERFECT stage light colors for my yellow Asian complexion, the latest discovery is this blue hue which doesn't look sooo bad but it does make me look a bit purple. I've seen red lights on me in pictures and they look good. The worst I've ever seen (besides fluorescent but that looks terrible on everyone) is a blue and gold contrast they used at an unnamed venue - and it turned me GREEN! Any fellow stage lighting masters out there who can offer some magic advice on flattering lighting on Asian skin for live performances?

Tina Tassel's "Meat My Friends" at Full Cup, Staten Island, January 2012. Photo by Mr. Vinyl

Tina Tassel's "Meat My Friends" at Full Cup, Staten Island, January 2012. Photo by Mr. Vinyl

Jan 16, 2012

My Experience of Shen Yun at Lincoln Center

I just posted a new entry at Asiance Magazine about my experience seeing Shen Yun for the first time this weekend. It was inspiring and also not what I was expecting! I was thoroughly inspired though to adapt the traditional Chinese "water sleeve" dance to a burlesque version. Read more here http://www.asiancemagazine.com/2012/01/16/my-experience-of-shen-yun-at-lincoln-center.

Jan 3, 2012

Nude Photo Studies in a Hotel Room

These are quick body and environment studies shot in our room at Hotel Veritas in Cambridge, MA over New Year's Eve weekend. All photos by Mike Webb Photography.

Jan 2, 2012

Champagne Soaked in Boston!

NYC, I love you but I think I love performing elsewhere on New Year's Eve more, I do declare! Boston was so much fun! I've never been to Boston and Stormy has been once in high school for a debate team competition at Harvard, so it was really fun for both of us. We got on the Amtrak bright and early Saturday morning for our 4 hour ride. We were each doing three acts in the night. I was doing the black fan dance, the blue Vegas sparklers act, and the finale before midnight was my champagne bath act. Stormy was doing her Feeling Good drag act, her white fan dance, and at the request of the venue, her infamous Blondage rope act. 
Waiting for Amtrak
We were close to the Cafe cart. Michael bought us a morning round!
We roll in Boston round 2pm in the afternoon and stopped by the Beehive right away to check out the venue and space. The Beehive is really nice. Tons of exposed brick walls with an upstairs bar and a spacious downstairs with a long bar and an area with a stage for the band and dancing. There was a grand carpeted stairway that connected the upstairs and downstairs. We met a couple of the owners, the managers, and the music director and went over the set list for the night over an early champagne toast. Everyone was detail oriented, professional, and had answers to every tech/sound/lighting question I had. I could tell it was going to be a good night.

The Beehive Boston!
Afterwards we checked into our hotel that The Beehive so kindly provided for us. Hotel Veritas was located in Cambridge right in the middle of Harvard University. I didn't know there were so many universities and colleges in Boston. I knew about Harvard but not Berklee College of Music. You could see musicians everywhere walking around with their black guitar cases strapped on their back. The hotel is a new boutique hotel that opened a little over a year ago. It was beautiful! I loved the interior design lots of ombre tones, teal and grey gradients, and my room was a corner room with grey walls and beautiful sunlight streaming in through sheer curtains. Michael did a quick photo study of me in the room with the sunlight which I will post later. Our call time wasn't until 845 PM so the three of us had time for a stroll around Cambridge, grabbed a bite to eat, and had some downtime for a naparoo. I do love my sleep!

The lobby of the hotel

When we got to the Beehive, they have transformed the space into a glitzy, glittery, festive party space! And holy cow there was an impressive buffet setup upstairs and it smelled INCREDIBLE! The food just kept coming all night long til 2 am!

Oh yea... come inside to my belly
What I was thinking, "I'm so hitting that when I'm done performing"
As people started to pour in (they were sold out and over sold), everyone is well dressed, pleasant, and there was a lot of sequins! It was an older, sophisticated crowd which made me quite happy. Civilized behavior on NYE. Imagine that! The band was awesome too. One of their lead singers Sinclair was also from NYC and he was awesome! He acted as our MC and intro-ed each of us perfectly.

Our walking around oufits!
Right before the countdown

The band, that's Sinclair on the right

About to go on...
Earlier on in the evening...

Later on in the evening!

Tatas on fire!
Post champagne bath getting carried off back to the dressing room! Olé!
Everything went really well. We had a smaller space to dance on than originally expected but we worked it out. Stormy rolled with everything with aplomb and we had such a great time! The audience was calling out her name before Sinclair even introduced her. It was hilarious. Then when she was doing Blondage, the guys behind me were like, "Wow." Then a few seconds later. "Wow". Repeat. Rock! During my champagne bath act there was a music glitch... but I still made it onto the long bar and did my bath and was drenched in champagne in the end per usual. The staff at the Beehive were incredibly accommodating and made double and triple sure we had everything we needed. The bouncers cleared people far off from the bar and acted as my human velvet rope. So sweet.

Lost items tally for the weekend: I lost one expensive earring. Stormy lost her fluffy ear muffs. Michael lost an expensive camera view finder. But overall casualty was low. Fun was high!

We had brunch at a classic local favorite, Leo's Diner, recommended by Bertal from the Behive. It was delicious! Old school style diner counters and all.
Strawberry stuffed french toast.. YUM

Technically this was my first meal of 2012, these sweet thin tortas that Hotel Veritas provided in the lobby. So good!

Another reason to love Hotel Veritas: electric blue faceted gemstone faucet heads!

And here are a couple of short clips from our night of Stormy and I walking around and then a very short clip of my finale champagne bath on the bar. It got too crowded for Michael to come around to the front to get a better view but it gives you an idea.