This weekend I headed out to Western, MA to hang out and perform with some of my favorite people.
I grew up in Western, MA and returning to do shows is usually a blast. Not only do I get to visit with family (who all come to the show!) but I get to perform at Bon Appetit Burlesque which is one of my favorite shows to be in.
This weekend was a double whammy because I also posed at Dr. Sketchy Northampton's final show at their usual venue. The venue is being sold and this show was their farewell to The Elevens.
Northampton has a thriving arts scene and is totally worth checking out, either as a patron, or as a performer.
The theme of this weekend's Dr. Sketchy's was murderesses! That's right, ladies who kill.
Guys, this is kind of my thing.
I talked to Kyle & Cora, who run Dr. Sketchy's NoHo, and they were totally on board for making it creepy. For the first half I posed as Lizzie Borden.
Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother 40 whacks
when she saw what she had done
she gave her father 41
Lizzie's story is particularly interesting because she became one of the first female “celebrity” killers. She lived in Fall River, MA and chose to stay there after her trial despite her tarnished reputation.
I have a Lizzie Borden burlesque routine called "Lizzie Boredom" where I pay tribute to the famed axe-woman. I believe that IF she killed her father and step mother then she did it because her life was horribly hard and tremendously boring. Poor Lizzie! She needed to spice things up!
The second half was a series of poses based off of several murderesses:
Aside from being startled by my own coat backstage (I screamed like a small child), I had such fun creeping out the artists at Dr. Sketchy's Northampton. I hope to be back once they start up at their new venue.
The next night I had the honor of performing with FruitontheBottom, Vivienne LaFlamme, Dolly Would, Victoria Van Layer, and my fellow Slaughterhouse Sweeheart, Allix Mortis, in Bon Appetit Burlesque's Magic Time Machine II.
Bon Appetit is run by my favorite host, Hors D'oeuvres whose burlesque message is simple:
"Bon Appétit Burlesque is a woman-friendly, body-positive neo-burlesque show in Northampton, Massachusetts. From its early days in front of a handful of spectators, Bon Appétit Burlesque has grown into a standing-room-only show at The Deuce that features women (and sometimes men) of different ages, races, gender expressions, sexualities, and body types performing neo-burlesque and boylesque."
And boy does Hors deliver! I've performed in this show a handful of times and it continues to be a highlight in my performance schedule. It's so professionally run, the lineup is always diverse, and Hors's hosting is something to be seen. Many gigs have performers changing in dank basements without a printed lineup in sight- not at Bon Appetit! From Ben working the door, to Captain Elastico (his assless banana costume was the talk of Christmas this year after my aunties came to the show) working the crowd, this show runs like a dream. I've been known to drive 2 hours to see the show even when I'm not in it. I really recommend this show to performers and fans alike because it's a guaranteed fucking BLAST.
If you're a performer and reading this you should consider applying for the Pastie Punch Out. It's a Neo-burlesque competition run and hosted by Hors at Bon Appetite. I applied! Hopefully I'll see you there!
On top of performing my Lizzie Borden number I debuted a re-worked version of a number that I did when I was first starting out. My friends Maggie Maraschino and Porcelain Dalya produced a show in 2013 and asked me to be part of it. It was a week to show time and knowing the theme was time travel I came up with a comedic bit about past life regression therapy and fused it with a Cleopatra number.
Watching video of that number made me cringe a little. I tried to look at that as a learning experience and worked to make it better. I've reworked that number: changed the song, the costume, the choreography, and I'm really happy with the results. I'll be performing it next month in Boston! A big part of the learning process in Burlesque (for me, anyway) is adding, changing, and revamping to create a better piece.
I loved going back to my old stomping grounds and performing and creating art with the talented people there. While at my parents I unearthed this photo of me and a friend at a dance recital. I think I'm around age 11. Do you think much has changed? (Good Lord, I hope I have better hair at least!)
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