Midnite Martini guides you through the Dallas Burlesque Festival 2014…
Dear glitter-covered Diary,
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and I am bidding my love adieu and packing all my feathers and fringe into what seems like an exaggerated sized suitcase for only two days. I am anxiously waiting to head to the Dallas Burlesque Festival! Though I have performed in Dallas several times before, this is my first time performing in the festival and I am tickled as pink as a sweetheart candy to be on my way.
The trip really has me feeling the Valentines love right from the start. First, the kind Southwest Airlines people waive the oversize luggage fee to check my fans, which of course are not collapsible and in a giant cardboard box. Then, as I’m waiting at my gate, wishing and praying to the burlesque gods that my fans will come out on the other side okay (which they do, luckily), I hear a saxophone in the terminal playing My Funny Valentine. How very romantic. And now that I’m all in the mood I am pleasantly surprised to hear that we get a free drink on Southwest for V-Day. This start is almost to good to be true!
When I arrive in Dallas I am picked up by the lovely Renee Holiday. She is the strong-lunged singer of the Ruby Revue and is just a sweetheart to take me to Angi B. Lovely‘s abode in the middle of the festival craziness.
I arrive at Angi’s house and am met by Gogo McGregor, Dahkter Sick, Eva Strangelove and Justin Credible. A regular house of variety vaudevillians and sideshow sexiness!
I have just enough time to change and head to the House of Blues. What an incredible venue! It is my first time at a HOB and the walls just ooze with swag and character. The room is packed and unfortunately I choose the spot that is right behind a giant pillar (of course), so end up ducking and dodging to see portions of the acts onstage throughout the evening.
The show is a ruckus and the audience loves it. The show is full of entertainment, from the assel-twerking styles of Apathy Angel, to Iris le’Mour‘s self-made gorgeous costume, to the comedy emceeing of Jade Estrada and all the other incredible performers who dazzled the stage.
And then to cap it all off, Miss Perle Noire works that room, with a whole corner full of her family members. Perle always delivers power, strength, poise and class, and the crowd feels completely satisfied and ready to go home and really celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved ones after watching her.
The after party is a bit of a blur, but somehow after drinks and dark rooms, all of us staying at Angi’s house cram clown car-style into their automobile and we all end up at the Velvet Taco for some late night eats and then head home.
Dear glitter-covered and alcohol-stained Diary,
I wake up today with a stranger lying in between my legs. Oh my! It is Sir Siracha, Angi’s loveable cat who has used my passed out body as a perfect bed to nuzzle into.
I slowly get up and get ready to head to the Ruby Room studio for my ‘Gloves and Stockings: Basics and Beyond’ class. I hitch a ride with the adorable Roxie Moxie and Sick and head over to Missy Lisa‘s house where the Ruby Room studio is located.
The Ruby Room is a sexy little studio, intimate and flirty. I get to sit in on Sick’s workshop, which is all about how to talk with emcees and techies to make sure your act goes off without a hitch. The topic is very intriguing, and most of the festival emcees are in attendance. There is great conversation struck up – everything from what to never say about a performer to what to make sure to announce. The class is so inspiring that the local emcees schedule an additional lunch together for the next day to continue talking and swapping techniques and stories.
After Sick’s class comes Perle’s dance class. From the other room I can hear Perle calling out fierce movement cues, feet stepping and turning with command, and laughs of delight. I’ve heard Perle teach this class before and it is always a fun experience to just listen to the class as they execute the ‘drama’ and start to embody the magic that is Perl-esque!
Then it’s time for my class. I always love teaching this class because the first part is very basic instruction of a glove and stocking peel, but the second half is experimental and a lot of improv games on how to use your glove and stocking in a unique way. I’m always impressed and inspired at all the new creative ways to peel and work a glove and stocking that my students come up with! It’s silly, exploratory, fun, and we all end the class cheering each other on as we show our new creative glove and stocking routines. And now back to Angi’s to change and get ready for the big show tonight!
We arrive at the House of Blues and I see the mainstage room where the show is tonight. It is absolutely incredible! Huge space with a gorgeous stage and glorious view of the audience.
The room fills with audience members and the energy is electric. Unfortunately I do not get to see all of the show from backstage, but the dressing rooms are just as entertaining as the stage, I’m sure. From Angi, Gogo, and Athena prancing in the glitter snow that flies off of me and fills the entire room, to burlesque legend Tammi True drinking with the girls like a true burlesque diva, and meeting the lovely Claire Sinclair who is absolutely stunning and a sweetheart to boot!
I did get to peek and watch a few epic routines, including Miss Renee Holiday (my fabulous airport ride) who belted out an incredible operatic melody while stripping and ‘pleasing’ herself. Other highlights I had the pleasure of catching were the Ruby Revue ladies strutting their stuff to adoring fans in a polished, fun group number; Tammi True shaking her goods to the crowds delight; Angi B. Lovely soaring high in the fabrics; Eva Strangelove and Justin Credible whipping clothes off; and Donna Denise‘s ‘pec’-tacular tassel twirl!
I performed my ‘Midnite Plume’ finger feather dance to Jimi Hendrix’s Red House and felt powered by the energy of the House of Blues as I moved across the stage. Hopefully Jimi would have approved
Then, after party time! I remember hitting the elevator button to head upstairs for the party and then… tequila… and then to Angi’s… and then more tequila… The next thing I remember is waking up in bed the next afternoon. Well, that’s a true sign of a great festival!
Dear glitter-covered, alcohol-stained, and a bit torn up Diary,
I wake up and the vaudeville variety house of Angi B. Lovely’s is eerily quiet. Most of the other performers have already vacated the house and I am left with a couple of great hours to just hang out with Angi and her man. We cuddle underneath the aerial fabric that hangs in her living room and catch up a bit.
Then I’m off to the airport, exhausted but surprisingly not too hung over. God love low altitude!
I bid Dallas adieu, close my eyes as the plane takes off and leave all the Texan glitter and feathers behind. Thank you Dallas Burlesque Festival; I hope to be back to see you again one day!