Welcome to my NorCal mini tour, and by mini I mean two shows!
Earlier this year, I was invited to come headline for Va Va Voom Revue in Humboldt, CA. This was my first time headlining for a show, and I was ecstatic! I had been wanting to go to Humboldt after seeing all the lovely things all of it’s performers from their inaugral burlesque festival had said about the city, the people, and of course Kitty and Ophelia Cox.
So the weekend after Viva Las Vegas, I headed upstate with Jake, who was emceeing the show and also coming from San Diego, and his girlfriend J. I was scheduled to perform Saturday, so I decided to fly into San Francisco the day before to see a friend from college and perform with Red Hots Burlesque. All three of us fly in within minutes of each other, and we set out in the Mission District, where I was performing later that night, to find some food. I don’t know what kind of odd luck we had at that moment, but 7 out of the 8 restaurants were deceptively closed and we were ready to eat! We finally found a Vietnamese spot and ate lunch. After lunch we set out to get Jake and J a hotel for the night so they could go see her sister. They find this amazing hotel downtown that I wish I could remember the name of, because I would love to come back and stay one day. They get checked in, and let me get changed for the show, which is way less awkward than having to find a clean restroom somewhere. I head down to the El Rio and got really excited and jealous when I realized they were serving oysters. Emphasis on WERE, since they were all out by the time I got there.
I find Dottie Lux and Egypt Blaque Knyle, which ironically both Egypt and I live in SoCal and the first time we meet was in San Francisco, and we start getting ready for the show. Our fellow performers start to trickle in and soon the house is full and it’s time to perform. I got to perform my Deftones number, which I adore. It’s slow, sensual, and really sexy. I get to play the vixen I love. Everyone was fantastic and Egypt got to make one bachelorette’s night.
After the show I got to see Barbary Doll for a minute before she headed over to the DNA Lounge who was holding their big show that night as well. My girlfriend Alyse picks me up and we fall asleep watching Beetlejuice.
Saturday, I realize that Alyse was further from downtown than I though, and I call a Lyft to get over to Jake and J’s hotel. I make it there in a less glamorous form of myself than I was the night before and we hit the road to go to Humboldt.
Driving away from the city was such a transition to see so many crowded streets to so much undeveloped areas. The longer we drove, the taller the trees became as we made our way through the redwoods. The sky seemed so clear, and everything felt so still and serene, that I wish I had a week to just stay there and take in my surroundings. Even though Jake had made that trip too many times to count, he obliged me and took me through a drive through redwood! As kitschy and touristy as it sounds, it was great!
We finally make it in town and Kitty had set me up in a gorgeous and quaint hotel called the Eureka Inn, which was where the show was happening that night. As I’m checking in, their girls are there rehearsing and setting up for the show. We say our hellos and I head to my room to change for the night.
After a few practice runs in the room, plenty of pre-show dancing, and about an hour of hair and make up, I’m ready to head down to the lobby to check in for the show. Everyone was so sweet and accommodating. All night the girls kept asking me if I needed anything and were just so thoughtful. Kitty and Ophelia even had a special drink made just for me! It was called the Garnet Gimlet, which was sweet and deceptive. The crowd starts coming in for the show, and their intimate room becomes full quickly. All of their patrons are at eye level for the show, so I sat with J and scanned the room for a few potential victims for my acts.
The show starts, and if there is one thing I can say about Humboldt, is that the town may not be big, but that crowd could yell! Act after act, the girls gave their all and looked fabulous doing so, and the crowd loved them right back. It was such a great energy. I perform my first act, which is a slower and more sensual act, and they blew me away with their response. I was in love! I hurried backstage for a quick change as I was closing out the night. I had to pin my headpiece, which takes a bit of time to make sure it’s fairly secure, but luckily I was able to finish in time. Finally I get onstage to Babalu, an act I’ve been developing. I decided to play with the audience for this number, and they loved it! Lucky for them though, I start tassel twirling so hard that I lost one of my pasties, then as the second one was flapping off- well, I’ll let your mind wander with that.
And just like that the show was a success! After we get dressed, Jake, J, and I head to a local bar to have a quick drink to celebrate.
That next morning we wake up early and head back to San Francisco. Jake took the long way back so I could catch more of the scenery. We drove through the Avenue of Giants, which really made me wish I had a light saber. Finally we get back to San Francisco just in time to drop off the rental car and figure out our flights. *Side Note* SFO has a yoga room that I think everyone should take advantage of.* I am so grateful for this experience. It was my first time headlining, my first time taking a road trip with Jake and J, and my first time in beautiful Humboldt. Thank you Va Va Voom! And thank you Red Hots Burlesque! Y’all were amazing!
P.S. Kitty also had the best birthday cake made for Jake! It was all pink (inside and out) and had an octopus with a tiara on it. #epic