Dieselpunk: Because Steam Wasn't Dirty Enough!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lab teching my way through striptease school: The Rocky Horror Texas Peepshow

I have a confession: I am a Rocky Horror Picture Show virgin. I've seen the movie, but by that time, everybody around me had already gone to a show or had no interest in going. Thus it was a little strange to stage kitten for a Rocky Horror-themed production. Doing the show doesn't count apparently.

Spyke Styletto bestowed a pearl
necklace upon me and a veil upon Kitty.
Photo by Cher Musico/Roots
The Texas Burlesque Peepshow put on its first production, "Oh, Rocky", two months ago. I was still trying to recover from All-con, but I wanted to help out. Lily LeCroix supplied a clipboard with notes for Kitty Martini and me, which kept me from completely stressing out. I was feeling off my game and had nearly lost it when I discovered that I put the wrong contacts case (the empty one) in my bag.

Due to Dallas' two shadowcasts being invited, "Oh, Rocky" had an unusually large number of people backstage. They took care of themselves, but it was a little different. It was different but fun, as I enjoyed getting a taste of the Rocky experience and the shadowcast members enjoyed the new setting. And everybody enjoyed the presence of Mr. Gorgeous. Never have I seen so many heads turn when a person walked by, but at a fit 6'5" plus heels, he strikes an impressive figure. He's also really nice and assuaged any concerns we had about setting up the rigging for his aerial routine. Kitty and I did have to work around the height issue, but the cables were lowered just enough to where I could reach them.

The show had begun on a somber note with Black Mariah explaining the situation with Lola LaRue. Whether they knew her or not, everybody in the cast and crew wanted to help her. That was really heart-warming to experience, and I think that created a positive energy that propelled the show forward.  Everybody wanted to do their best for Lola, and I was really happy to be part of such a supportive community.

To put things into perspective,
I'm 5'1" plus 3" heels.
While Kitty and I were running around, I made a mental note to make sure my shoes for the after-party were super comfy any time I did a show at the Texas Theatre. I had opted for a goth look and wore my three-inch platform boots, which are usually comfy.  After climbing lots of stairs in heels, that was no longer the case.  Lesson learned.

"Oh, Rocky" was a HUGE success. Never have I heard a crowd that cheer that loudly at a burlesque show; I felt like I was going to go deaf by the end of the show. After hanging around a little bit to talk to people and try to not be awkward, I decided that it was best to avoid the shuffle out of the dressing room and head out to the after-party, where The Companion and I wound up eating pizza with La Divina and Diamond Jim first and then with some of the "Oh, Rocky!" cast.  I was suddenly glad I ran up and down those stairs.  I didn't take too many photos, but you can see a couple more on my facebook page.

Also, don't forget to reserve your tickets for the Texas Burlesque Peepshow's next production, Spectacular Burlesque!: a Tribute to Moulin Rouge. I am fan dancing with the producers and my classmates from the Dallas School of Burlesque.  You don't want to miss this show!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New erotic photography book - My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare

Daily Mail shared some photos from the book My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare, which features photos of off-duty soldiers from the collection of Michael Stokes.  Click here for more.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lab teching my way through striptease school: All the Fun at All-con 2014

This recap was a little daunting to write because over the weekend of All-con, I was Hana Li the burlesque dancer, Hana Li the cosplayer, and Muggle me.  I'm trying to move away from my third identity when I'm doing a show or panel, but transitions take time.  Originally I was only going to focus on burlesque-related endeavors, but everything crosses over (which just complicates me trying to keep my Muggle identity separate).

As I've mentioned before, All-con was the first burlesque show I saw in Dallas.  Therefore, when Diamond Jim asked me to be in this year's show after seeing my DBF performance, I was more than thrilled.  Actually I couldn't believe it because despite being in a convention, the All-con show features a lot of well-known locals and even out-of-town guests.  I was ready to do the show, but there was one concern: I had four different panels that weekend.

It wound up being five panels because the convention decided to schedule Nerdlesque twice.  After hearing good words about my History of Burlesque panel with Black Mariah last year, I proposed one about nerdlesque.  To keep ourselves sane, I made it a more casual presentation where we talked about what's out there and the rising interest.  My other two panels called Ignorance and Fandom were about social issues in sci-fi, comic books, cosplay, and other fan communities: harassment, discrimination, under-representation of minorities, etc.   Jim assured me that call times would not conflict with any panels so I was doubly excited to both perform and talk about things I’m passionate about.
Nerdlesque panel
Photo by Long Le

On Friday, I took a little longer to get ready since I had to streak my hair for my Mako Mori cosplay.  I went for temporary dye because it seemed pointless to buy extensions for two short strands and being a performer, I have to now be cognizant of my appearance (not that it would have affected the routine I was doing, but I'd rather not have to deal with too big of a change in hairstyle, especially since I already cut it).  The Companion and I arrived just in time to slip into our friends' Dieselpunk 101 panel.  Larry and Tina were kind of enough to lend us their projector for the burlesque panels.  I also have to give a shout-out to my Ignorance and Fandom co-panelists: Ashley E., Callie Calypso, Frank H., and Helena Isis.  The discussion we had on Friday was great, and it made me more confident about the rest of the panels I had in store for the weekend.  Nerdlesque went well its first run, and afterward I got to learn about fluorescence in carnivorous plants.

The show was my focus the following day.  As a result, I chose a cosplay that allowed me to wear my glasses: Jet Girl from the Tank Girl movie.  Even though The Companion and I got featured in the Dallas Morning News gallery for the Steampunk Costume Contest, my outfit is by no means steampunk (and The Companion was not an entrant either) despite what the title might suggest.  The day was pretty easy-going until dinner time.  I almost wound up being late for my own panel, but Black Mariah was kind enough to wait while I got my contacts in and changed out of cosplay.  Immediately afterward, we had to meet up with Diamond Jim and La Divina to get ready for the show.  La Divina had brought her homemade macarons, and they were absolutely delicious.

Since I was the only dancer with just one routine, Angi B. Lovely recruited me to be the ghost in her Scooby Doo act.  It was fun being campy and pervy although I wish I could have seen what I looked like on-stage.  The crowd loved the classic acts as well as the nerdlesque ones.  The nerves started to kick in because everybody was so good and I was opening the second act.  However, the minute the lights came up for my act, I heard someone in the front row recognize that I was reading Final Crisis (originally I was reading Fables to show that there's more to comics than DC and Marvel, but I realized that nobody could see it so I went with something that had a bigger, bolder cover).  That's when I knew that my routine was just perfect for the All-con crowd.

I didn't stay around too late because we were commuting and there were two panels left on Sunday.  I also had to get into my Wonder Girl cosplay, which I didn't have time to complete. I actually resorted to using the bra I had made for my Clever Girl Cabaret stage kitten outfit because the material I bought to make a new "W" was more transparent than expected.  Sunday's Ignorance and Fandom discussion, which wound up getting featured in the Dallas Examiner.  That was followed by the second round of Nerdlesque.  Black Mariah was dressed as Wonder Woman so that was really fitting. It was cool to see a number of people ask about where they could take burlesque lessons, and even after the panel, I came across a couple of guys expressing interest in it.  I hope everybody's All-con experience was as awesome as mine.  I'm already excited for next year's con.

Thanks to Mike McGee for covering the panel!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Whatever Lola Wants

Dallas burlesquers have united to put together a show to raise money for their fellow dancer, Lola LaRue, who is undergoing treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma. Click here for on-line tickets.