"Can we, as a country, all
: November 2003: Burlesque
is, according to Tease-O-Rama's dictionary, " a
witty and mocking send-up of vaudeville entertainment."
Pretty goddamn postmodern, since vaudeville was
generally witty and mocking in the first place.
I'd say, after attending the third annual three-day
burlesque convention TEASE-O-RAMA, that burlesque
is "fat unpretty tattooed girls awkwardly aping
harsh! I can't believe that just came out of my
pen! Naughty, humorless pen.... Those Tease-O-Rama
folks gave Exotic two free V.I.P. passes--a
$200 value--and I can't say anything nice?!
true. I have plenty nice to say (see sidebars).
But the general tenor of this fat fest was so catty,
so anti-stripper and devoid of any kind of sexy
that I took to committing petty misdemeanors to
entertain myself. I guess ya can't help but get
catty at a festival full of broads.
Lucy Fur (a fabulously burlesquey STRIPPER), and
in Los Angeles just in time for the press junket,
where we pressed the flesh with burlesque luminaries
and overheard the New York bitches bitch about their
L.A. litter mates and vice versa. Very silly. Some
great outfits came, no sex was had and the Bigfoot
Lodge (hipster dive) stole the show.
evening, after a feverish day spent shopping for
shoes, corsets, panties, fringe and rhinestones,
Lucy and I settled into great seats at the supercool
Henry Fonda Music Box Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
I was braced for maybe two hours of tassels, but
NO! It was a SIX HOUR flesh parade, and one hour
into it I had already had my limit of shoulder-length
gloves unceremoniously ripped off and tossed to
the floor and was yearning to see a live pee show.
I had had all the fringed flab I could
stomach, and even the site of one chick's MISFITS
tattoo oozing out of her overly-tight pink corset
failed to amuse me.
it to the V.I.P. rooftop lounge, lit up a Lucky
and downed two tequilas under the stars and the
smog. There I witnessed the best show of the weekend--two
old punk rockers gussied up in suits doing a swell
Sinatra bass and vox schtick while falling into
folding chairs. Reinvigorated, I went down to the
mezzanine where I defaced over one hundred Spin
magazines, writing "I SUCK" on coverboy Dave
Matthews' t-shirt. I didn't know how I was going
to endure three more hours before headliner Dita
von Teese took the stage.
Dita is evidently
HOT SHIT. I don't know because I don't care. Burlesque
has always seemed phony to me--a cheap parody of
Sexy, absent of any and all sincerity. But enough
about me. DITA is Marilyn Manson's chick. Her claim
to fame is rhinestones, rhinestones, rhinestones:
rhinestoned gloves, fans, shoes, chairs, tampons,
etc. She was a Playboy covergirl, which in
the hypocrisy of the new burlesque is very fucking
cool and lends legitimacy to the entire movement
. Mostly Dita does a soulless rip-off of the inimitable
lovely. Moved like an actual dancer, like, say,
a STRIPPER who dances eight-hour shifts five nights
nights a week. She was professional and not fat.
Or tattooed. Really she had nothing over Portland's
fabulous gals other than rhinestones (silly) and
Marilyn Manson (alright
I'd fuck him).
of Pornland.... Portland was completely unrepresented
at Tease-O-Rama. Sure, the Suicide Girls Inc. signed
on late in the game and sponsored the show, but
none of the acts were from the Beaver State. Maybe
because we host a more fabulous, sexy, witty, intelligent
skinfest every night of the year! But we are strippers,
and as such somewhat unwelcome in the burlesque
scene. We dance for a living, not to make a statement.
We are willing to give lap- and table-dances. We
are unopposed to getting fake tits. We are not fucking
around. We are the REAL DEAL. Sexy. Witty. Charismatic.
Part of Tease-O-Rama's
mission was to educate with a "bawdy history lesson,"
and to that effect they had seminars on tassel-twirling,
teasing, the history of burlesque, writing about
burlesque, and other unsexy stuff. But I gotta say
that I did learn something at Tease-O-Rama. I learned
that there is an "IT." There are "it" girls and
there are girls who are not "it." If you're not
"it," get off the stage! If you are, smile, cuz
God loves you. And nothing in the history of the
universe is sexier than an "it" girl, smiling, giggling,
and doing whatever the fuck she wants in the face
of certain doom.
Dunn brings new meaning to the phrase "making
the audience squirm." Her amateurish vocal stylings
and absolutely wrong theatrics culminated in what
was far and away Tease-O-Rama's worst moment. Singing
off key "I Could Have Daaahhnced All Night," she
patted her "pregnant" stomach. Suddenly she pulled
a large plastic bowl out of her dress, delivering
her "baby," and squealed, "Where's the placenta?!"
Then she fell on the floor, kicked her feet in the
air and finished her song. Bonnie probably hasn't
been fucked in ages.
highlight of the festival was the premiere of
Broad Daylight, a wonderful full-color
homage to the classic stag loops of the fifties
and sixties, starring the better burlesquers (including
our own Lucy Fur!) and set to a totally rad punk
rock soundtrack. Tease-r Candy Whiplash
directed the gals and shot them on Super 8 with
the help of Memphisean John Michael McCarthy.
The DVD, CD and LP will be available in December
Deville is the best! Miss Exotic World 2002
and a member of L.A.'s burlesque troupe the
Velvet Hammer, this chick has got "it" in spades!
Clad in a padded bra, fringed g-string, blonde
ringlets and an enormous smile, she takes the
stage and shakes it. And that's it! Shake, shake,
shake. Air-kiss. Exit stage right. Ya gotta
see it to believe it.
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