Not Fade Away.

•11/03/2014 • 1 Comment

Red Final

It is with a heavy heart but an incredibly optimistic spirit that I wanted to announce that after nearly five years of weekly blogging, Burlesque Seattle Press will be going on a little hiatus, as they say in the entertainment industry.

As a writer and lover of burlesque, the friends I’ve made and the many, many artists and photographers I’ve met over the years have influenced me in more ways than can be counted.  I’m a better writer and a more keen observer of all types of arts because of it.  (Not to mention that ever since I first became associated with burlesque-folk, my natural proclivities for flashy jewelry and makeup have been given full reign).

Burlesque Seattle Press has provided some incredible opportunities that I would not have had otherwise: multiple interviews with personal heroines such as Jo “Boobs” Weldon, paulanow (formerly Paula the Swedish Housewife), Lily Verlaine, Dixie Evans, Joan Arline, and Dita Von Teese among them. I can honestly say that in my freelance writing, burlesque stars have hands-down been the most creative and passionate artists I’ve profiled.

And I hope to continue to do so, just not in the medium of weekly blogging.

As other demands in my life have increased, I’ve realized that a weekly blog format that is constant, vital, and filled with quality writing is harder and harder to maintain.  And in that situation I believe, as the song goes, that “it’s better to burn out than fade away”.

I’ve had some amazing regular contributors along the way: Rayleen Courtney, Madeline Rider, and most importantly,  the great minds and huge burlesque hearts of Paul O’Connell and Crystal Tassels.  You should continue to follow Paul and Crystal HERE and HERE to see where they’ll be popping up next.  I love and respect those two more than words can say.

I would be remiss not to thank The Shanghai Pearl, Indigo Blue, Kitten LaRue, Lily Verlaine, Jasper McCann, paulanow, Jo Jo Stiletto, Violet Tendencies, and Bettie Beelzebubb and Olympia’s Own TUSH! Burlesque for their support from the very beginning.

As for me, I’ll still be writing…  COUNT ON IT.   See you around.

XO Jessica Price

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Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone launches this week.

•10/07/2014 • Leave a Comment

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I had a chance to catch up with the passionate and perpetually on the go Sasha Summer Cousineau (aka Diva le Déviant) in the busy weeks leading up to the much talked about launch of Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone (which kicks off Thursday, October 9 at the Theater Off Jackson).

After taking a little time away from her previous post as Creative Director with Sinner Saint Burlesque, the troupe approached Sasha about a concept they were brainstorming called Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone – cabarets exploring female archetypes in their various forms. The idea, stemming in part from acts developed in Sinner Saint’s politically-charged run called Revolution, would be a brave new departure for the troupe. The concept of the show – and the bridge between the female archetypes of maiden, mother and crone- appealed to Sasha’s creative and feminist spirit, particularly in light of the very personal loss of her own mother around the same time. The troupe extended the invitation to continue working with Sasha in whatever capacity she was able to contribute; not long after, a series off one-offs at Can Can began to take shape exploring each feminine role individually.  Unlike a typical burlesque show (but not unheard of in community theater), the cabarets concluded with post-show “talk-backs” in which performers and audience could raise questions, commentary, or dialogue and open up the concepts for wider discussion.

The response to the talk-backs was better than expected, sometimes resulting in spirited back and forth conversations that lasted until Can Can was ready to close. The response was so good in fact, that the troupe realized they wanted to do more with the material. Soon the push to launch a full-scale production at Theater Off Jackson was under way.

“What we’ve done is use the concept of ‘Maiden, Mother, Crone’ – of those three archetypes – as sort of an organizational point for our thoughts. Any exploration of women subdivided into those three categories is going to harken certain archetypes; we actually sort of use these to explore the lived realties of women and girls,” Sasha explained.

“We have an inheritance; as female-bodied people in the world –  we’ve inherited some things,” she continued. “From culture, from history, from religion, from our families, from the earth, from various places. Some of these things are really rich, they’re beautiful and wonderful and deserving of honor and celebration. We want to share them with the world and we want other people to experience them as well, and we hope that these things we’ve inherited can become our legacy. But there are other parts though, where we call bullshit,” Sasha laughed. “We’re like ‘yeah…that’s toxic, that’s unhealthy, that doesn’t suit my mental/physical/spiritual/emotional well being’, or OUR well being. And so we’re pushing back on that, and we say NO.”

Near and dear to Sasha and the troupe’s heart is the concept of a long term, sustainable, healthy way of being for young women and girls: mentally, physically, spiritually, and creatively. “Historically women have had very little space for protest, it sort of goes against everything we’re trained to be, right? BUT… where I think we differentiate a little bit from a lot of feminist performance art with this show is we say we DO protest certain things, and then we go on to envision how we might do it differently, “ Sasha continued. “So we’ve kind of gone a la carte with what we’ve inherited, and then in terms of our legacy, we’re trying to craft a future.”

How do these lofty and admirable concepts translate into what the viewer will experience at Inheritance? “A burlesque show. Sinner Saint Burlesque is a burlesque troupe, so people are going to see what they expect to see in that way: a production with skilled performers, thoughtful, sexy, edgy, harkening back to some of the raw territory that came up during the Revolution show at Noc Noc. It was the most overtly political thing they’d done as a troupe. With this it picks up where Revolution left off. We take it even a step further…it’s not political in terms of Republicans and Democrats, it’s political because the personal is political. Really what this comes from is stories. Drawing from stories and using burlesque as a platform to tell stories. Some of them are really sexy, some are really funny, some are hard and edgy and you’re going to see some hurt feelings. But we’re trying to fuse them together.”

“We really are trying to build community- in the Sinner Saint Burlesque way, we’re trying to build a movement,” said Sasha. “If you look at the momentary feminist women’s micro-campaigns that have happened recently in social media, and larger women’s rights campaigns, we wanted to also lend our voices and participate in the conversation. It hasn’t been the easiest way to produce a show. It’s been challenging and often uncomfortable to do a show this way, but…we’ve all become better people for it. Burlesque is so right for this show…because it’s all about our bodies.”

Another by-product of the weighty material and the intense buildup to the finished production has been a whole lot of quality time examining the contents of their heads – both as troupes and individuals.  “Maybe next year we’ll just bring sexy back,” Sasha laughed.

Theatre Off Jackson and Sinner Saint Burlesque present
Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone
October 9 – 19th at 8pm
$25 – $40

All Sunday performances are 13+, all other performances 21+

Get tickets HERE.

 

Rhapsody in Blue: Burlesco DiVino, in photos.

•09/30/2014 • 1 Comment

~ Intro by Jessica, Photo preview by Paul O’Connell (POC Photo)

It’s almost here…Verlaine & McCann’s freshly restructured Burlesco DiVino opens October 1 at Seattle’s gorgeous, subterranean Triple Door.  Last week Fosse Jack (who plays the character “Dario” in the production) contributed a special guest feature on the show’s transformation from its commissioned debut to its third and current incarnation; this week we bring you another sneak peek through the expert eye of BSP’s POC Photo.

Yes, we’re biased…we love our POC…but the photos for Burlesco DiVino are cheeky and dashing and JUST SO GLORIOUS.

Here’s a selection of POC’s favorites from the sessions (catch more of his work over HERE):

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Burlesco DiVino, October 1-4 at the Triple Door. Get tickets HERE!

Fosse Jack dishes on the metamorphosis of Burlesco DiVino.

•09/25/2014 • Leave a Comment
Burlesco DiVino returns to the Triple Door October 1-4

Burlesco DiVino returns to the Triple Door October 1-4 (POC Photo)

When the return of Verlaine & McCann’s Burlesco DiVino was announced this summer, we here at BSP got itchy palms and more than a little warm under the collar. The concept was a charming departure for Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann, and like all of their productions, I seem to love and appreciate them more and more over time.  Repeated viewings are something I wait for religiously with each of their shows: there’s always so much to take in…different members of the cast to focus on…exquisite dancers to study and be captivated by…little changes here and there from year to year.  Burlesco DiVino, originally a commissioned piece, is now in its third year and the producers and cast have cleverly turned the Italian caper on its head while still managing to preserve the essentials that made the story so charming – and the dancers so stunning – in previous years.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Fosse Jack, who plays the role of Dario in Burlesco DiVino.  Any of our longtime readers know I love a good “behind the scenes” feature, and Fosse kindly agreed to write about his personal experiences with the show and its evolution.

Without further ado…the lovely and talented Fosse Jack:

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~ Written by Fosse Jack, Special Guest Contributor to BSP

Back in Spring 2012, I received an e-mail from Lily Verlaine inviting me to be a part of a new show that she and Jasper McCann where creating.  It was slated to be called Burlesco DiVino: Wine in Rome and was a piece commissioned by the Triple Door for their month long wine event at the end of the summer.  It was one of the most exciting e-mails I had received in a long time.  I had dreamed of performing in a Verlaine & McCann show ever since I had seen Land of the Sweets for the first time, and now I had the chance!

We started rehearsals a month or so later, and over the summer generated a new show.  It was an amazing experience; one part following a script written by Lily and Jasper, and one part a collaboration of some very talented individuals.  We gave feedback, fleshed out ideas, and together created something that was at some times high art, and at others cheeky entertainment.  While Land of the Sweets and Through the Looking Glass are burlesque versions of existing stories, Burlesco DiVino is a unique creation, and the process of bringing it to life was exhilarating!

That first year was, for the most part, an artistic success.  I think there were times that the audience wasn’t quite sure what to do with the material presented, as this show was very different from anything else LVJM had presented before, but they held on for the ride and we got some really good feedback.  By the end of that first run, we were all proud of what we had created and looked forward to doing it again in the future.

In 2013 we remounted the show with the returning cast, made a few tweaks to the costumes and dance numbers, and Jasper added a second original song arranged by James Chappelle.  I believe that our performances in that second run were crisper, the story (at least the second act) was easier to follow, and the staging was more detailed and vibrant.  All in all, I believe this second iteration was better than the first.

Somewhere, between last year and when we started rehearsals this year, Lily and Jasper made a discovery about the show.  Over the past two years, we hadn’t created one show, but two!  While visuals and themes in the second act of Burlesco DiVino harkened back to the first, the styles and stories were so different from one another that it was difficult for the audience to really connect them.  What started as a risqué piece of high art, reminiscent of Fellini’s Satyricon became something like a 1960s musical movie starring Julie Andrews, Danny Kaye and Liz Taylor! (To my knowledge those three have never actually performed together… but you get the idea!)  With this discovery in mind, Lily and Jasper set out reconcile the two worlds of Burlesco DiVino and create a single story that spanned the course of the show.

By the time rehearsals started two weeks ago, a new story had been written.  Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say this.  Following the experiences of Babs Lawson (Erika Zabelle), a young American dramatist with her heart set on being admitted to Yale Drama, Burlesco DiVino will take you on a journey of discovery and liberation.  Making use of the theatrical device of a play-within-a-play, Burlesco DiVino is also a look at the artistic process; from the tongue-in-cheek point of view of burlesque artists.  We explore the seriousness of art, the place of relationships within its creation, and the importance of reaching not only diplomats and art critics, but people in general.

Babs’ journey (and to a lesser extent my own character arc) is about finding a new way of looking at life.  It is about learning to laugh at yourself and to really enjoy the present.  She starts off a ‘serious artist’ and becomes an individual whose passion and love for life shines through her art.  In this sense, Burlesco DiVino really captures those burlesque ideals of laughter, levity, and lust (for life.)

I am immensely excited to be a part of this show, even more so, with this new story.  If you have seen a previous iteration of the show, you will recognize all the players, as well as most of the dance numbers.  The story will be new, and as it encompasses the entirety of the show, it will feel more like a play than a burlesque show.  The characters too will feel fresh, and while you may recognize the individuals, the added layers within the story will lend a more nuanced and dynamic experience of each one.  We have spent the last two years honing something that was artistic and sensual.  This year, we’re all determined to have fun with it!  We hope you do too.

Love & Puppy Paws,

Fosse Jack (aka DARIO!)

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Burlesco DiVino, October 1-4 at the Triple Door. Get tickets HERE!

Fosse Jack as Dario in Burlesco DiVino (POC Photo)

Fosse Jack as Dario in Burlesco DiVino (POC Photo)

Losing My BenDeLaCreme Virginity.

•09/23/2014 • Leave a Comment

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~ by Crystal Tassels, BSP Contributing Writer

Last Friday night, I lost my virginity. I sat at a VIP table at Oddfellow’s West Hall on Capitol Hill, drank two glasses of water, and let the glitter rain down. Curve-hugging sequined leotards, clever songwriting, and possibly the best contouring makeup I’ve seen all year made my head spin. BenDeLaCreme made eye contact with me from the stage and I think I might be smitten.

I don’t own a television or a Hulu account and have never watched a full episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. (I know this is no excuse since they screen it regularly at Julia’s, but still.) DeLa’s reality TV stardom was not what got me in the door. Instead, her allure caught me the old-fashioned way, by word of mouth. As a member of the Atomic Bombshells, DeLa’s reputation precedes her. Sitting in the front row and watching her bubble and prance around in a glittering tear-away skirt, she was, as the show’s title suggested, terminally delightful.

For all of the show’s glitz and glamour, the most interesting aspect of the performance was DeLaCreme’s humorous, though probing exploration of identity, duality, and character. I learned at the show that DeLa had been criticized on Drag Race for her indelible cheerfulness and for not adequately expressing the person “behind the drag.” In response to this critique, which seems utterly ridiculous coming from a contest based on creating larger-than-life characters, DeLa staged video calls from her fans and detractors to address their commentaries. Impressively, each character was played onscreen by DeLaCreme herself, nearly unrecognizable in various riots of makeup and hair.

Some of this commentary was very specific to Drag Race, so lacking that background made some of these segments seem a bit tedious and even defensive. But one of the repeat “callers” was actually Ben himself, DeLa’s barefaced, male alter ego. After several instances of DeLa answering the phone to discover a silent video of Ben on the other end of the line, she spiraled into an identity crisis. Suddenly there were three DeLas on stage, each in identical pink sequined leotards (played by Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover). Things got wacky.

After DeLa regained her composure with a gracious, sighing, “Well, that was weird,” she rounded out the show with a goosebump-raising number about her early experiments with drag. The song, a reworking of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” describes a closeted teenage outcast creating her own identity while sitting at the mirror and perfecting her makeup. It painted a vivid picture of the star’s vulnerability and the strength she created by establishing her own sense of self.

This is serious business. Putting that face on was not an escape from reality, as her critics on Drag Race assumed. DeLa is the source of her own power, a concept that has real import for anyone that takes on a self-made persona. In a culture that obsesses over authenticity (like Facebook’s current war on stage names), whose right is it to decide whether someone’s chosen identity is more “real” or “natural” than their naked self? Our identities are only as “authentic” as our experience. Furthermore, whose right is it to separate those personalities into two mutually exclusive compartments, layering them one behind the other?

As performers that often keep our showgirl and showboy selves separate from the rest of our lives, we live out our identities in the form of many truths. To make assumptions about which one is “real” is to make light of our versatility and depth. I salute BenDeLaCreme for being brave enough to expose herself so candidly, and for taking her reveals much further than just exposing the body beneath her sequins.

Seattle Burlesque Games 2014

•09/18/2014 • 2 Comments

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~ Written by/interview by Crystal Tassels, BSP Contributing Writer

To tide us over until the Tournament of the Tease at BHoF – and to raise important funds for the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum – each year the Seattle glitter tribe gathers for a night of friendly competition. The Seattle Burlesque Games are an annual fundraiser and tournament in which performers go head-to-pasties to show off their burly skills. Past events have included tassel (and assel) twirling, fan choreography (without fans for extra ridiculousness), stocking peels, and more. In addition, the Games host the election for the illustrious office of Mayor of Seattle Burlesque. Just like in real politics, people vote with their dollars to decide who the next burly-Q benefactor will be and the election proceeds are donated directly to the BHoF Legends Challenge. Fringe and dollars will fly on September 20 at the Re-Bar at 7pm.

This year’s Games are just around the corner, so last week I had the pleasure of chatting with the effortlessly lovely Miss Kitty Baby about the fundraiser that’s become one of the most exciting Seattle burlesque events of the year.

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Crystal Tassels: What makes this event so special on a community/historical level?

Miss Kitty Baby: The Burlesque Games are a sort of community team-building exercise, that’s why they’re so fun. People are coming together to do this thing together, but it’s slightly competitive. It’s like in corporate team-building exercises when you do something out of the norm and you’re competing but still working together. There are lots of opportunities in the burlesque arts for performers to compete with acts that they’ve honed and put craft into, but we want this to be more fun and more casual. Performers aren’t putting their brand on the line here so they can get up, have fun, and play around. That’s why all acts are capped at two minutes in length. We want to keep it silly, lighthearted, and the length of a regular burlesque show. Plus, the short runtime discourages people from bringing acts they already have, though we do encourage people to use costumes they already have, so lots of fun acts are born out of this show (including acts based on Waxie Moon’s dramatic glove removal and Flirty Sanchez’s thrift shop act from 2013).

This year, we have 37 performers and volunteers. The support from the community is overwhelming and it’s really fun to see folks come together. There is a good mix of performance levels and everyone has a task. We’ve never had to turn anyone away to participate. In 2012, Waxie Moon was a judge and then was dying to compete. Jamie Von Stratton did an epic ribbon dance to “Xanadu” the first year for the opening ceremony. Then she was a judge, and now she’s competing in the “Dramatic Glove Removal” category. She’s a ten-plus year performer who’s super successful and she’ll be up there with brand new performers. People come back every year, even in different capacities, because they love it.

CT: How has the show grown or changed since the first time you held it?

MKB: The categories have changed a bit. We took a poll of the performers that participated last year to see what they felt should be kept or cut. “Dirty Bump and Grind”, which was nixed last year, was the most popular category to be brought back. So now we have a “Dirty Dirty Stripper” category.

Twerking was the finale event for the first two years. We acknowledged that it wasn’t necessarily related to burlesque but that we wanted to do it because we’re perverts. But if it isn’t something people normally do in their choreography, not a lot of people are jazzed about it. There will be no twerking this year.

CT: Any highlights from previous years?

MKB: The most unexpected highlight has been how wonderful the Mayor of Seattle Burlesque has been each year. We originally created the role as a publicity stunt, and many other cities have burlesque mayors. The candidates had to campaign and fundraise for the Legends Challenge in order to win. Our first mayor, EmpeROAR Fabulous!, said that people were coming up and asking him what he was planning on doing with title when he won the election. So we set up some loose guidelines and asked that they wear their sash at BHoF and Pride, and do one thing to raise funds or awareness for BHOF at some point during their year as mayor. Our last two mayors have gone above and beyond that. This year, we had advanced voting through Brown Paper Tickets and have already raised as much as the candidates did last year at the show itself.

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CT: What about the cause? How does the fundraising aspect affect the show?

MKB: First of all, there is a huge level of gratitude from producers who get people to donate their valuable time and talent. Sometimes, in the case of charity events, the cause is more important to the producer than it is to the performer. The Burlesque Games is benefitting BHoF and the Legends Challenge, so it feels more inclusive to everybody. We’re doing this for our own good, even if it just perpetuates the idea of the Burlesque Hall of Fame. So many people want to participate for this cause, so we designed this so that the maximum number of people could be involved. We wanted it to allow for many more people than the standard eight performer burlesque show.

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Get your ticket to the Seattle Burlesque Games and don’t forget to cast your votes for the Mayor of Burlesque!

A Glitzy Legacy and Elephant Couture: BurlyCon Chats with Bic Carrol (Part II)

•09/15/2014 • 1 Comment
Costumes by Bic

Costumes by Bic Carrol

Last week we ran the first half of an interview between our comrades-in-glitter at BurlyCon and their 2014 Living Legend Guest of Honor, showman extraordinaire and two-time Vegas Costumer of the Year Bic Carrol. (Thanks again to Czech Mate and the BurlyCon team for this fabulous interview!) ~ Crystal Tassels

Part II – Costuming & Career

Czech Mate: After years of producing and performing, you started a very successful career in costuming, designing for Siegfried and Roy, the Ringling Brothers Circus and the Ice Capades. How did you transition from exotic dancing into professional costuming?

Bic Carrol: Producing at the Follies Theater in Chicago, we did a brand new show every week. That meant 16 new costumes: eight for each production, and everyone had a double. My budget for 16 costumes was $25 a week. That had to include the music, too. If a light bulb went out, it came out of my budget.

Because I had to make so many costumes, in my off time I would learn from Tony Midnite, a famous burlesque costumer. Then later when I was in New York I would take my son with me in his crib and work for free in the daytime in the Latin Quarter costume shop. I even apprenticed with the last feather dyer that worked for MGM studios in Hollywood.

I’ve always loved making girls beautiful on stage. Because I learned a long time ago it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you look fabulous!

Chimp Act Sue & Rudy Lenz  (Ringling  Brothers Circus)

Chimp Act Sue & Rudy Lenz (Ringling Brothers Circus)

Sue & Rudy Lenz   Ringling  Brothers Circus

Sue & Rudy Lenz (Ringling Brothers Circus)

CM: How did you win the Las Vegas Costumer of the Year award not once, but TWICE?

BC: When I won the award for best costumer, I dressed that show like I was dressing burlesque. If they couldn’t wear it, they drug it! As long as it was glitzy, that’s all that mattered.  One reviewer said it was the only show in Las Vegas where you come out whistling the wardrobe. I thought that was the greatest compliment.

The next year I did Siegfried and Roy, and I won an award for them. But it was all strictly by accident. I found that I knew more than I thought I did. A lot of it was that you have to do costumes with a little budget and you have to get the maximum effect. You learn so many tricks over the years. I never planned on costuming.

White Feathers Legends in Concert  (Imperial Palace,  Las Vegas)

White Feathers Legends in Concert (Imperial Palace, Las Vegas)

Under the Sea Trio  (Steven Frey and dancers)

Under the Sea Trio (Steven Frey and dancers)

CM: You’ve created hundreds of dazzling costumes throughout your career. Do you have any favorites?

BC: Nope.  I hate ‘em all. One day Tony Midnite and I tried to figure out how many g-strings we had made in our lifetime. We just said, “Oh my God, how many thousands!”

But a favorite to make? I just love doing circus animal costumes. They’re big, they’re gaudy, and they read from a mile. Especially the circus blankets for the elephants, because I get to sequin them and they’re gigantic. And the elephants don’t complain when you do a fitting. They just let you climb all over them. They don’t give a shit.

I’ll tell you a cute story. A circus asked me to make a top hat for a Dumbo production. They wanted a big top hat to fit on an elephant. So I made it. It was five feet tall. Well, the elephant, Carol, whom I really loved, before she would go on stage there was a big mirror on the wall. No matter when the music played, she would have to stop and look herself in the mirror. If they had not put that top hat on her right, she would NOT go into the ring. We used to laugh at that.

Carol the Elephant and trainer George Hanneford  (Hanneford Circus,  Florida) costumed by Bic

Carol the Elephant and trainer George Hanneford (Hanneford Circus, Florida) costumed by Bic

CM: We’re going glitter-crazy waiting for your “Easy Tips for Burlesque Costuming” class. What do you have in store for us sparkle mongers?

BC: Think of Carol Burnett ripping down the curtain and making a gown – that’s what I want to show you how to do. I want to teach how to use things that you can afford. Things that you have lying around the house, that you never dreamed you could make a costume out of. Things that won’t cost you a ton of money, but on stage will look brilliant. Because most of the time, girls now have to do new acts all the time. They don’t have the money to invest $1,000 or $2,000 in a costume.

Bellouise, from Bic's show in Asia

Bellouise, from Bic’s show in Asia

CM: Is there an easy costuming trick you’re willing to share with us now?

BC: I learned a long time ago – this is a strange trick, and it goes for makeup too – to take Aqua Net and you spray your mirror.  When you look in the mirror, and your costume looks perfect and your makeup looks perfect through the Aqua Net, then you know it’s going to read. Because what you see in the mirror does not read from 20 feet away. The Aqua Net diffuses that. So put it on your mirror, and look at your makeup. You’ll say, “Okay that doesn’t read, I need to use more.” You’ll know what’s going to happen under the lights. Just an old vaudeville trick.

What’s sad is there are no places outside of BurlyCon where you can learn these kinds of things. There is no more burlesque circuit. There are no more legitimate clubs. But I want you all to be fabulous.

Bic Carrol Costume

CM: Which is why we are so thrilled to have you at BurlyCon this year. What are you looking forward to most?

BC: The moment when I teach (and I’ve taught since 1954) and I se a smiling face and a sparkle in the eye, and I reach one person’s creativity – when I know that they’re going to take whatever I told them and they’re going to go out and experiment. One of the things wrong with the girls today is that they don’t experiment! They’re too busy copying what they think is right. There is no right. Not even in costuming. It’s whatever works. I want them to go away from BurlyCon thinking, “Maybe I didn’t learn anything, but I learned how to learn something. I learned how to experiment.” That’s the most important thing.

With my revues, I never hired the best dancers. I hired the ones who sparkled. Because I could make you look good. You could look wonderful, but if you didn’t have sparkle, if you didn’t enjoy it, it wasn’t going to do any good. I think you have to really love what you’re doing. I’m hoping these kids come to BurlyCon and want to learn and want to do something with it. You have to ask, what will I do after BurlyCon? What is the next step?

I want, before I die, to pass this knowledge on. I don’t want it to be lost.  I want somebody 20 years from now to be saying, “You know what happened? I can tell you what really happened.” That’s the whole purpose of my even going to BurlyCon.

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Catch Bic’s BurlyCon classes “Burlesque and the Mob”, “Easy Tips for Burlesque Costuming” and “My Life in Show Business” at BurlyCon 2014, Oct. 9-12th at the DoubleTree Hotel in Sea Tac, WA. Visit www.BurlyCon.org for more information.

 

BurlyCon's 2014 Living Legend Guest of Honor Bic Carrol

BurlyCon’s 2014 Living Legend Guest of Honor Bic Carrol

 
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