The Diary of Sincerely Yours

Burlesque Artist- Producer- Bassoonist

Friday, January 31, 2014

It was a pleasure working with you...

Photo by Delysia LaChatte

Last Thursday was my last night posing with the Society of Illustrators. I have been asked to start working Thursday nights at the Slipper Room. Although I wanted to go out with a bang, the above ground train kept delaying over the freezing cold. I started to panic when I approached Manhattan exactly at call time, I thirty minutes before session started.

I had managed to get all my makeup on, lashes included, as I sat waiting anxiously on the Williamsburg Bridge. Where I need to be was just over yonder, I can almost grasp it. At least there was a beautiful sunset. People always watch me on the train when I put on my makeup, but I have gotten used to it. I have gotten surprisingly steady with liquid eyeliner on a moving train. Cars are actually harder. When they see that the application is going high scale, bigger than date night look, they watch curiously with a respectful distance. Sometimes I briefly catch eye contact with elderly men and women, who look at me with this endearing nostalgia of when pin ups were really Pin Ups. I smile at them and get back to work in the mirror.

I had no time to waste and changed my clothes in the taxi. I told the young driver my plight and he had his mission. Our theme was exotica and here I was peeling off layers and layers, even changing to a strapless bra, to transform into a tropical beauty. Scarves were replaced with sweet smelling coconut oil, my head before wrapped was now blooming with pink peacock plumes. And of course my favorite beautiful stargazer lily clip. When it comes to summer wear, the Floridian comes out shamelessly in me. This is my terrain, I understand the art of flip flops.

Despite the cabby's best effort, traffic made us practically idle just a few blocks away. I felt no choice but to hoof it, crunching through the snow with a long maxi dress billowing out of my Winter Wonderland red coat, a promise of warmer times just a few months away. Oh how you tease chartreuse and flamingo pink! Feathers bopping all down the block where everyone was staring at me. I've gotten used to it, haven't we all? I didn't have to time to care, nor even shiver.

Posing as an art model is a lot different than posing for a photoshoot. Standing still is a skill. The ten, twenty minute poses are especially challenging, and when I first starting working with them I would over commit to my poses. I remember a couple times my knees buckling or arms going entirely numb. Keeping a facial expression can also be tricky, as I try to bring something that tells a story, sometimes I have to switch between two different expressions. Or else my face may stay that way! I have been told that something that I bring into my burlesque and modeling is deep emotions, whether bright or dark. I know that when I stare into the audience, my eyes seem to glaze over. I remember my very first burlesque class was with Indigo Blue, where we went over penetrative and receptive stares. I was paired up with Cherry Typhoon, but didn't know at the time. Her stare was intense and lurked even danger deep within. When I eyes started to blur, I asked Indigo if that means I need to see a doctor and she said instead "No! That is actually a very good skill to have!"

I hope to pose again soon on another night, even it means another group, although I really enjoyed working with the Society of Illustrators. The building is a beautiful old Victorian style building, with an old swanky bar included. We used to get dressed in a big beautiful library, with shelves to the very top. All it was missing was one of those cute ladders to slide across in a musical style fashion. Here are a few photos of some of the sketches during my time with them.

Luma Rouge

Russell Bruner- Man of Mystery

Last week at the Glitter Gutter we had Russell Bruner from the West coast. I chose him for my favorite act of the night because how well developed his performance was. It was a combine striptease and talent act, where he performed hat tricks and fancy footwork with his cane to ragtime style music. I appreciated the details to his period costume, not only bejazzled to the nines, it incorporated textures and decorative inner lining. I am someone who also enjoys embellishing the insides of my costumes, sometimes to be more sparkly than the exterior. I suppose I like it is my way of paying tribute to inner beauty, or not judging a book by it's cover.

The striptease element was one of the best I have seen in the boylesque circuit. It is clear the man has been dancing for a while, you just have to look at his sock gartered calves. He's routine stayed always interesting and was not repetitive. It danced about in a playful fury with his man sparkly man thong, bouncing all about a front row filled with mostly men. It was hilarious and the audience explode with applause and laughter. Later at the bar after the show, I asked him what was in those panties that made him able to bounce the way he does, which in indulged to me but unfortunately not for my readers.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rush Hicks and Velvet Crayon

This week Sincerely Yours gives Rush Hicks and Velvet Crayon the title of 
"Slipper Room Star Act" of Wednesday nights!

I love working Wednesday nights, I'll take them over the crazy weekend crowd any day! Weeknights are the best nights at the Slipper Room to curl up with a date at a table and watch some real LES entertainment. The Glitter Gutter always features some wild acts and this week Rush Hicks and his sidekick Velvet Crayon take the cake! Part of the Squidling Brother's Traveling Sideshow,
these boys sure represented the "gutter" aspect of the show. Rush is born with a rare genetic condition that makes his cells extremely elastic, allowing him to twist and contort his body in way it just shouldn't. Just don't applaud him for it, as he hates applause. As Rush continues to twist and torture himself, with trusty Velvet Crayon by his side, audience members avert their gaze, head to the bar with their back to the stage and tipsy couples holding onto themselves tightly as they view on in  absolute horror. 
 For the duo's second act, Rush proceeds to stab himself multiple times as Velvet plays a sad lonely folk song, which appropriately sets the scene. Rush does not only puncture himself in the typical sideshow spots but straight through his Achilles tendon! Rush, didn't you learn in history that's a very delicate area?
As much as I love learning new styles and art forms, I will keep the sideshow arts to these experts.

Other mentions I would like to bring up is the duet "The Miss Understanding" by Italian burlesque artists Dixon Ramone and Albadoro Gala which was a playful spin on Tempest Storm and Betty Page and Little Motown's diamond heist number. I sure hope that huge diamond prop breaks down into parts Little Motown!
One of the issues of creating acts in New York City.

Also, I got a huge laugh for this one birthday boy who came in late but just in time for the Slipper Room Birthday Spanking Machine. That is how the Slipper Room recreates your birth on stage with the night's cast. Let's just say that I didn't have to push drinks on him, he was already "fully celebrated" by the time he shown up. He stripped his top layers off as he went inbetween the lovely legs of tonight's performers, revealing a Star of David necklace. He kept going back into the machine, making Mel Frye exclaim "He's born again!"