Mar 31, 2013

Mei Ling Tribute Burlesque Act!

You read my previous post about my Mei Ling tribute act and here is the video clip of it from this Saturday night's performance at the Robin Byrd Show Live at The Cutting Room NYC! Robin's show is taking a summer hiatus after April 13 so make sure you catch it before her summer vacation in Fire Island! She does shows out there too so just find her on Facebook!

Mar 30, 2013

New Photos of "Les Fleurs de Shanghai" at the NEW Duane Park!

Time Out New York came to photograph my vintage Shanghai show "Les Fleurs de Shanghai" this Wednesday at the new Duane Park on the Bowery. As you can see from some of these gorgeous photos that Filip Wolak took, the new space is more "manor" than "chez"!  See Slideshow >

I debuted my Mei Ling tribute act this week as well at Duane Park dancing to "Plum Blossom" by Li Xiang Lan which was her Mandarin stage name. She was a Japanese born singer raised in Manchuria who became a film star and singer during the second Sino Japanese war and subsequently became a controversial figure in popular culture due to her bi-nationality. She was accused of treason by the Chinese government for her Japanese background and affiliations, acquitted, then refashioned herself as a Japanese actress "Yoshiko Yamaguchi" then as an American-Chinese actress as "Shirley Yamaguchi". You can read more about her on Wikipedia.

Mei Ling original vintage photo on the far left. My re-creation after. Photo by Filip Wolak for Time Out NY. >

My robe was made and hand-painted by JAMIE VON STRATTON who has made several other sequin dresses for me. The headpiece is made by none other than Amber Ray Accouterments, and the inner linings (bra, panties, sheer panels) were made by Wae Messed.

Mar 20, 2013

New Photos by Jane Kratochvil at Macao Trading Company

The talented photographer Jane Kratochvil took these beautiful photos on Monday night where I performed at Macao Trading Company with Dandy Wellington and His Band for their monthly show "SouthSea Soirees". I have just returned from my week long hiking family trip in the Ozarks, and I wasn't quite sure how "on" I would be from a week off away from eyelashes, glitter, bobby pins, etc etc. But once I got there, I was right back in the groove! It was totally packed despite the random snow storm that hit NYC all Monday. I was happy to see all my Macao family like Bryan, Paula, Uros, and so many more. I admit with some guilt, that somehow when you are having this much fun, it doesn't feel like work!

It's always an exquisite luxury for me to perform in another producer/performer's show so that I can just perform and not have to do everything else too. On top of this, Jane is so easy to work with and a sheer talent to work with. We had some time before each act to do some portraits downstairs and really work with the Asian influenced decor at Macao.

Dandy is there on the 3rd Monday of every month, and I am there with "Drunken Dragon Nights" on the 1st Monday of the month. We try to work together as often as we can! He is also at Hotel Chantelle on Tuesday nights and on Saturday during brunch hours.

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil
With Kirsty and Suzette. All the girls who work at Macao, I gotta say, are super cool, stylish, and awesome people. Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Downstairs where I usually do my "Drunken Dragon Nights" show. Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

The one and only Dandy Wellington! Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Photo by Jane Kratochvil

The NEW Duane Park!

I can't wait for next Wednesday 3/27/2013 "Les Fleurs de Shanghai" at the new Duane Park at 308 Bowery (between Bleecker and Houston St.)

This month we have chanteusse Christina Li on vocals covering for Shien while she is globetrotting for inspiration and glamour. Christina will be accompanied by Jesse Elder and Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez

The burlesque portion is an all-star cast with Amber Ray, Peekaboo Pointe, Harvest Moon, and myself. 

7:30pm seating. 8:30pm show. RSVP by calling Duane Park 212.732.5555.

This show has sold out every month in 2012 so don't wait!

Mar 2, 2013

Eddie Huang, the Future for My Generation of Immigrants

I just posted this clip on my Facebook page because it really hit home for me. When I encounter truth as seen in Eddie's anecdote at the recent TED talk, it brings back a flood of memories from my own experience growing up here. 

If you don't already know who Eddie Huang is, you need to. He is a chef, writer ("Fresh Off the Boat", innovator, and owner/creator of BaoHaus in NYC.

Watch this short clip of Eddie's talk at TED (he is one of the TED fellows this year). His anecdote about bringing "weird" Taiwanese food to school hit home for me. I had the same experience in third grade when we lived in Tampa, Florida. Kids made fun of my lunches because I had shredded pork with rice or anchovy with black bean sauce when everyone else had PB&J or ham/cheese sandwiches. I heard "eeews" and "gross"s about my lunch every day until I made my mom start making us "American" food. I also got made fun of all the time by the other girls because I didn't wear a whole new outfit every single day (more on how this trauma affected me later through high school- cray cray!). 

When I told my mom that kids at school were asking me, "Didn't you wear that yesterday?" and "Do you shower?" Oh, because I'm a dirty Chinese??? My mom being the practical Chinese woman replied, "You wore it once! It's not dirty yet. Wear it again tomorrow." We were also just too poor to buy new clothes to keep up with American kids never ending supply of brand name clothes. It's not a fashion show. You are going to school to learn. Again, mom saying. Anyway, long story short, the only kids who didn't cringe at my "weird" food or my shortage of clothes were the black kids who were the only friends I made during elementary school. 

Just like how Eddie became a "reaction" against the discrimination he faced by shunning all "white people" things (which he later regrets as he says in the clip), I took on the opposite approach. I tried to assimilate as much as I could. From packing the "right" lunch no matter that the sandwiches bored me to tears, to dressing more "American" by keeping a journal of what I wore every day and making sure I didn't repeat the same outfit two weeks in a row! Talk about psychotic. I think back on all these things now that I'm an adult and the amount of shame and embarrassment I feel now is incomparable to how I used to think I felt. Which is why I am invested in my shows such as Les Fleurs de Shanghai at Duane Park, The All Asian Burlesque Spectacular, and developing acts in which Chinese culture and heritage is celebrated via costume and song.

Btw- Eddie follows me on Twitter and when I tweeted him back saying, "Eddie Huang is following me on Twitter. I can die now!" He wrote back, "I support Asian business" - BOOM!  What a delicious badass! And thank you Eddie for helping me get in touch with my own issues.
Eddie's new book! Get it on Amazon >
Baos from Baohaus - serving up popular Taiwanese street food!

Mar 1, 2013

All-Asian Burlesque Spectacular! May 9, 2013

 Online tickets available at LPR's web site now!

I am thrilled to announce a co-production between myself, Thirsty Girl Productions (Jen Gapay), and Sukki Singapora (UK) the first ever All-Asian Burlesque Spectacular! It takes place on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the famous Le Poisson Rouge. We have both international stars such as Cherry Typhoon (Japan), Sukki and fellow British performer Fancy Chance, Singaporean performer Black Orchid, and many national stars.