It’s sad that in 2011, I don’t think I’d blogged at all. I have kept a journal since I was old enough to write, and it is somewhat upsetting that I did not record a thing from 2011. 2011 was a break out year for me, so I am going to try and recall everything that happened that left me loving my life this year.
In January, Ann Gora and I headed up North to perform at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret (and pick up a 4th place finish at Geek Bowl V). I wanted to continue working out the Jackie Kennedy act that I had debuted for Halloween 2010. My troupe, audience and other performers had given me such positive feedback on it that I felt that I needed to really work on it at every opportunity.
February rolled around to the Fifth Annual Southwest Burlesque Showcase. Guests from previous years included Coco Lectric, Bobbie Burlesque, Sophia Sirena, Flame Cynders, Scarlet Letter, and new to New Mexico, Red Hot Annie, Cha Cha Velour, Vi Vacious, and more. Burlesque Noir reprised our Sorority Girl/Freddy and Jason Make a Porno act – a 10 minute number recalling the campy horror films of the 80s. I brought Jackie Kennedy to the big stage – this time with some new costuming and some changes in staging – again the piece was very well received.
March found us flying to Chicago to perform at the 2nd Annual Windy City Burlesque Fest. I had the pleasure of traveling with General Blackery and Isis. Our gracious host and festival producer, Red Hot Annie, put us up and helped us get around Chicago. We had our first time exposure to the Stage Door Johnnies and MANY wonderful Midwest performers. We believe the total was 108 acts in 30 hours. Great time, great food and drinks and so many incredible acts were highlights of the trip.
April took me down a new course that I hadn’t anticipated; a new opportunity for me and my career as a performer. I had been asked to accept a promotion to headliner for the Great Burlesque Exposition, alongside the Shanghai Pearl and Jo “Boobs” Weldon. WHAT!? This was my first moment feeling like this little burlesque hobbyist didn’tbelong in the company of burlesque stars. My Jackie Kennedy act went well and I had a wonderful time (as always) in Cambridge. It is a bittersweet moment in retrospect that I was able to take some classes with Burlesque Legend Joan Arline “The Sexquire Girl” who passed away only a few months later.
Our plane had hardly touched down in Albuquerque before we went on to our next adventure, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey were at my house 2 days after returning from Boston and we were hosting a special Wednesday night with them in Albuquerque. What a hit that show was! It also was great that they closed the evening with “Total Eclipse of the Heart” a personal favorite that I had shared every chance I could after seeing it win at Exotic World.
In May, Ms. Talullah St. James called me up to perform an older act at one of the Zircus Erotique shows. I did my Paint It Black number and had such a blast!!! This show kind of brought that act back for me, and now I am trying to get it out there more because it is just so much fun.
June came and brought Burlesque Noir Presents: Red Hot Burlesque Summer starring Hot Pink Feather, Kellita from San Francisco. We had met Kellita in Chicago and discussed having her come out to see us and perform at a show. Kellita was a wonderful guest and incredible talent to perform with Burlesque Noir.
July is always and will always be reserved for Colorado Burlesque Festival. This year, New Mexico was represented at least once at each of the five shows at CBF and I am so proud to share a State with our local performers. Burlesque Noir kicked things off on Thursday night with our Dragula number, Zircus Erotique, Kitty Irreverent and Vivian MirAnn all took to the stage for the Friday late night. On Saturday, Tallulah St. James performed her empress number and finally Mena Domina and General Blackery shut down the Sunday pool party.
I found myself speechless upon hearing my personal place in Colorado Burlesque Festival. I was selected to perform Jackie Kennedy on Friday’s exclusive VIP night. While not the biggest show for CBF, it was certainly the best of the best. I was told this night was reserved for headliners, producers and a handful of the best acts submitted for the festival. I was billed alongside every wonderful and beautiful performer whom I’d admired for years. After the show, one woman in the audience thanked me for the Jackie number, she was old enough to remember the assassination, and we cried together. It was truly the most touching moment of my career as a performer. As I was flying home, I was stopped by a TSA security screener. I thought, “This can’t be good.” Actually, the TSA agent happened to be in the audience at Lannie’s for the Jackie performance. She spotted me from a few stations over and wanted to personally thank me for the act. Wow.
At the end of July, Reigning Queen of Burlesque, Miss Indigo Blue paid NM a visit and taught some classes. She also requested pulled pork for dinner. I can’t stand BBQ but made an exception for a queen! Since she was here, I proposed she come headline at Southwest Burlesque Showcase 2012. Proposal accepted! What an honor to have her return to New Mexico and hit the stage with us in February, 2012.
In August, I was booked for two shows in Colorado. Friday night, Mr. Valdez’s (of Peaks and Pasties) show in Colorado Springs. Saturday night, Pierre’s late show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret in Denver. I couldn’t have timed my trip any better. It turns out Inga Ingenue happened to be in Colorado Springs that weekend as well. Lola Spitfire told me that Saturday morning Inga was teaching a class, we stopped by the Hot Rod Ho-Down to grab some breakfast and take Inga’s class. After class, my plan was to drive up to Denver but Lola convinced me to stick around and perform for her burlesque show at HRHD that night. I protested that I needed to go perform in Denver, but Lola said “Inga is doing both. So can you.” I caved to the peer pressure; we wrapped up the show in Springs and raced up to Lannie’s. They were halfway through the night already, but on the plus side my makeup and hair were already done. So this was my first experience performing 2 shows, two different cities, one night. All alongside someone I admire in burlesque!
September brought us back to Colorado Springs. This time, Burlesque Noir traveled up North to perform our signature blacklight number T-36DD at Satan Angel‘s Birthday Party with Peaks and Pasties. We got to take classes with Satan’s Angel and Foxy Tann; I also debuted my new balloon act, Little April Showers on the giant and beautiful stage of the Stargazers Theater. It’s a huge Geodesic Dome!
November we returned to our usual production mode for Burlesque Noir Presents: Martini Time! The show starred Midnite Martini, Peggy Tulane, and Honey Touché from Denver, CO. These are three of the first ladies I’d ever met in the Colorado Burlesque scene and we enjoyed having them come down to visit and perform with us.
Finally in 2012, Burlesque Noir had some new performers join us and we are so happy they’re here! We can’t wait to see what Joy Coy, Ginger Balls, Annie O’Roar, and Shelly Sequinz bring to the stage this year.
Happy 2012! I look forward to all I can accomplish in the New Year. I do hope to continue to create acts that are brave and bold.