Lola Demure, burlesque, panel skirt, costume design, headdress, showgirl, showgirl headdress, whiskey and fuego

Panel Skirt Workshop

January 7th at 12:30 PM

Glittertribe Studios
3052 Clairemont Dr, Ste 9
San Diego, California 92117

Panel skirts are a constant favorite in burlesque. Their feminine draping adds an element of tease with just their silhouette onstage. In this workshop Eva Mae Garnet will go over the basics of panel skirt construction. From various technique like adjusting patterns for use, to quick tricks from the legends, come learn how to add this burlesque costume staple to your showgirl closet.
Eva Mae Garnet is a performer, producer, and costumer from San Diego. Making all her own costumes and studying under a handful designers and pattern makers, she has earned notoriety for her custom corsets, headdresses, and panel skirts. Be sure to check out her work at evamaegarnet.com.

For this class, please bring a notebook, pen, fabric shears, pins, and a measuring tape if you will be working on your skirts in this workshop.

Cost: $20
Please reserve your spot online:
https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=291245&stype=-7&sTG=24&sVT=11&sView=day&sLoc=0&sTrn=20&date=01%2F07%2F17

Burlesque Bingo- San Diego Edition

For the FIRST time in San Diego, we are proud to present the ORIGINAL Burlesque Bingo at the historic Lafayette Hotel!

What is Burlesque Bingo? It’s not just Burlesque…. It’s not just Bingo. It’s the striptease game show where we take it off and you win!

Celebrities and civilians alike have been shouting out ‘Bingo!’ at Audrey DeLuxe’s game show ever since it’s premiere at the world famous Viper Room. She and her cast of bingo girls have been playing games with L.A. ever since.

Now, these bombshells are set to take over the world one bingo card at a time. Win fabulous prizes every round! Are You Game?

https://www.universe.com/burlesquebingosandiego

Featuring:

Audrey Deluxe
Eva Mae Garnet
Ginger N. Whiskey
Valentina
Jacqueline Chaton
Dee V’Ous
Valentina On The Rocks
Dottie Deville
Stella Foxtrot
Veronica Velvet

Dinner options will be available but MUST be ordered at the time of ticket purchases. There will not be an option to purchase dinner the night of if you don’t have it included in your tickets.

21+ Event

Doors at 7:00 pm
Dinner at 7:30 pm
Show starts promptly at 8:30 pm

 

Redhead in Infrared

Eva-Gif

Not too long ago, I was working with Kathleen of MKS Images. I drove up north one night to do a much overdue photoshoot with her right before a show. We started shooting in our normal rhythm, but quickly realized that Kathleen had forgotten to charge her batteries from her shoot the night before. Not wanting to let the time go to waste, she decided to break out her infrared camera in hopes that something interesting would come from the shoot. We were both astounded with the results. The camera gave the images a painterly quality, while creating really cool colors that I’m not too used to seeing in photography. Every time I think back to this shoot, I think of what results can come if you just let go of expectations. After all, some of the best things in life begin as complete surprises.

For more images click here.

Hollywood Burlesque Theatre in San Diego

There was once a time that burlesque boomed in San Diego. Located in what was once called “The Stingaree” at 314 F Street in downtown San Diego, The Hollywood Theatre offered a stage to many striptease artists like Tempest Storm and Betty Rowland. Owned and operated by the dedicated Bob Johnston and his wife Fanny Myers, the Hollywood Theatre was re-opened as such after the Exposition at Balboa Park ended the original Liberty Theatre.

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Prior to and during World War II, the theatre flourished when an influx of service men into San Diego made for regular patrons. Downtown San Diego became packed with military attendees waiting to see the shows.  At the height of the theatre’s attendance, they were doing six shows on a Saturday and five shows on a Sunday. They were lucky to be the only “Big Girl Revue” in the city. The show featured a chorus line of thirty women, singers, dancers, strippers, comedians, magicians, and more. The show itself changed every two weeks along with the headliner. During this time, the theatre was incredibly successful and afforded Bob and his wife many luxury items that were very much appreciated after the Great Depression.

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In the beginning of her career, Lil St. Cyr was a regular cast member and was mentored by veterans such as Janne “Irish” Cafara.  “Irish” began dancing as a feature when her son was tragically killed by a drunk driver. In an attempt to grieve in San Diego, she took the part at the Hollywood Theatre. The theatre proved to be an effective measure to remedy the grief while teaming up with old friend Claude Mathis, and mentoring budding performers like Lili. “Irish” proved to have an emotional attachment to the Hollywood Theatre and stood by it’s side even as burlesque entertainment faded.

Many cast members came to work at the Hollywood Theatre for the ability to settle down in San Diego, raise families, and enjoy the material comforts their jobs afforded. As “Irish” once put it, I think I played every state in the United States, the big theatres in all the big cities. When I got to San Diego I just don’t know, I just never wanted to leave here.”

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There were many headliners who passed through the Hollywood Theatre, but Big Bobbi “Texas” Roberts remained a favorite in-house feature. She was tall with brazen redhair, and was referred to as a “tree-topper” because of her height in both heels and a head dress. She was billed as “6 Feet 1 of Texas Fun” and always stood out from the others. Even after her death, fans reminisced about the statuesque beauty.

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By the mid-1950’s, the burlesque industry was falling apart. Top burlesque stars took their craft into nightclubs, radio, film and television. Although the Hollywood theatre survived longer than most due to San Diego’s military bases, the prosperity of the theatre finally came to an end in the 1960’s.  As ticket sales stalled, the production quality of the show diminished. Finally, with the movie houses taking attendance from classic, live, burlesque striptease, the Hollywood Theatre, and for awhile the burlesque art form became obsolete. The decision to close the Hollywood in 1970 was difficult but necessary.

For a time, the Hollywood Theatre was at the center of downtown and gave a home to many performers and attendees. For decades, the theatre was recognized as the only place in San Diego that was exclusively dedicated to presenting classic American burlesque.

 

 

 

References

Furlonger, Jaye. San Diego’s Bygone Burlesque: The Famous Hollywood Theatre. https://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/v51-1/pdf/2005-1_hollywood.pdf

Zemeckis, Leslie. Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr. Counterpoint Press 2015.  Page 119-120.

Photos Pulled from https://www.facebook.com/Vintage-San-Diego-181625028554101/

Traveling Showgirl Tips

The last couple of years I have been on the road and in the air quite a bit. I have traveled both nationally and internationally, and along the way I have come up with a few traveling showgirl tips. Are you an experienced traveller or maybe a novice who doesn’t know where to begin? Then check out my ten tips for a successful showgirl tour!

  1. Water – You may think that drinking water is only important when you are flying, but throughout your trip, drink as much water as you possibly can. I can’t tell you how many times my mood and energy levels were affected because I was unknowingly dehydrated. When I was traveling in the UK, I didn’t pay attention to my own advice, and with all those tea breaks and no water in between, I was an absolute mess by the time I got home.
  2. Sleep – For me, when I travel sleep is nearly impossible. I can’t get comfortable enough to sleep on a plane, time difference is always a factor, and with burlesque performers performing at night, our hours are already all over the place. I’m not a big fan of sleeping pills because of the hangover effect, but I have had a lot of success using melatonin, which is a natural, over-the-counter sleep aid. You can find this at any drug store, Whole Foods, or even online.
  3. Vitamin C – Traveling is often being in confined spaces with random strangers. Glamorous, I know. Be sure to up your Vitamin C intake to help combat any traveling colds that are floating around.
  4. Research the area you will be staying at. – Research for more than just restaurants that you want to eat at, or shops you want to see. Google search time, distance, travel, and price points for the best methods to get around. Can you walk from your hotel to the venue? What time is call time? When would you have to leave to get to where you are going? Do you have a point of contact in case you get lost? How much are cab rides? Will you have WiFi to use GPS? Many times I will make print outs of directions in case my phone decides to fail me. Make sure you are thoroughly prepared for the worst.
  5. Have a good traveling bag. – I’m not talking about something cute for the plane. Have a show bag that you can easily take around town. Often I take public transportation when I travel, and going back to whatever your home base is may not always be an option, unless you have a car at your disposal or the extra income to request Ubers. Many times I will go explore the city with all my showgirl necessities for that night. Always be prepared. You never know what kind of time set backs you may encounter.
  6. Bring acts that you can travel with. – When you are performing and traveling, it’s much easier to bring acts that are easily transportable. Unless the production you are performing in has paid for you to bring out that giant pain-in-the-ass prop that looks gorgeous on stage, but your stage hands hate, leave it at home. In fact, if you are traveling, keep set-ups minimal. Sometimes it’s best to only have to worry about whether you start on or off stage.
  7. Music – Always have a back up of your music. If you will be on the road, and are performing in a weekly production, chances are they won’t request your music till the week before your performance. I like to use Google Drive and have the downloaded app on my phone. Also keeping a USB back up of all the acts you will be performing while touring is incredibly helpful.
  8. Make-Up – As a performer rule, I always show up to the venue with my make-up already done. You never know what the lighting situation will be, and really it makes you look more professional when you show up to the venue ready to go.
  9. Be Gracious – Producing is hard. Having performers in a production who the producers don’t know is something you should be gracious about. I have performed with producers who I’ve met before, and I’ve also performed in productions where I’ve never formally met the producer. Be kind. Don’t be a diva, and make sure you roll with the punches. I know producers who above everything else, want to make sure that their backstage is a safe zone. Be kind and respectful of everyone involved. You represent yourself, your affiliations, and your community.
  10. Get to know the community. – If you have a few days off to catch another local show, go show some support if it’s in your time and budget. Go meet and talk with the other performers. Make some new friends. You never know where your paths will cross again.

So these are just a few of my traveling show girl tips. Do you have a specific question or maybe a really good point to add? Comment below! Thanks for reading. xoxo

Feisty Thoughts: Audience Consent

Last night I had the opportunity to perform at a wonderful show with a live jazz band in which the burlesque performers danced throughout the room and sometimes had interactions with the audience. Being a floor level show, I would consider this a more intimate experience and for a crowd who not only knows burlesque, and the rules behind it. And what are the rules you ask? Well it’s simple, from the time we enter the dance floor till the time we leave, we are in control. Period. 

So let’s talk about what that control means. Simply put, it means I can come up and lead an interaction with you. That could mean getting your help removing a glove, or it could mean me taking that glove and playfully smacking you with it. Whatever I want, I’m in control. Of course these interactions will be respectful and playful because that’s my performance style, if you are going to see a performer who is more known for shock performance, you may want to do your research. But regardless, by you sitting in your seat, and watching the show, you are willingly agreeing to these terms of interaction, especially if you’ve already seen multiple performers that night. 

So why the hell am I even writing this? Because last night as I go to lead an interaction with an audience member, another audience member, who my attention was not even directed to, pushes me aside and exclaims “Oh hell no.” From that particular moment, it was my intention to put all my attention to her, from afar. At that point every bump and grind, every finger lick, and every ass smack was directed directly at her. You mam, do not get to push aside a performer, especially a performer in heels. You do not get to sit through till the second half of the show, and decide at my act that you are now offended by the show that you were willingly watching. You do not get to touch a performer, especially when I wasn’t even directing my attention to you. 

She did end up removing herself from the show by the next two acts, which is the correct thing to do. Had I warranted the interaction something that needed to be taken care of, the staff and show would have IMMEDIATELY taken care of it, but I felt my direct attention embarrassed her enough to remove herself from the show so I didn’t make it a big deal. 

Regardless, the point I’m trying to make in this post is that audience members, if you are going to see a live show, you are consenting to the performance and interaction styles of that artist. I don’t go to see GWAR without expecting to be sprayed with fake blood. I don’t go to see jazz entertainment without expecting the possibility of the singer talking  to the audience during their act. I don’t go to see burlesque with expecting some sort of interaction depending on the venue. Know what you are consenting to and be honest with yourself. If you can’t handle it, then there is no shame in that. Just don’t go, we won’t be mad. 

Progress

Over the last six months or so, I’ve made strides to improve upon my performance skill set and become a performer who people not only love to watch, but fellow performers look up to and respect. It is my goal to figure out what my place is in this community to help our art form grow. I’ve told you about my quest to BurlyCon, my classes with the lovely Kitten DeVille and Shannon Doah and my constant quest to continue to put myself out there.

I was speaking to a fellow performer, Jacqueline Chaton, and we expressed that the reason why we wish to do more shows is more than just wanting to perform, we want to practice and get more experience onstage. You can practice a thousand times in front of a mirror, but its never the same as finding yourself onstage. For that reason, I may have been burning the candle at both ends, but it feels great!

I was recently given the opportunity to perform in Lady Borgia’s show Shakespeare in the Dark. I took all my notes, all my lessons, and applied them to this performance, and I feel like this was by far my best performance YET! I slowed down, took my time, got in the head of my character and enjoyed myself. The act looked and felt beautiful.

Tomorrow I take off to Boston, where it’s freezing!, and I really hope I can make one hell of an impression! Wish me luck, and I will be sure to post about my traveling diaries!
Oni Studio

Photo by Oni Studio.

A New Year {A Time to Reflect}

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This year has seen many personal and performance ups and downs. It was a year of change and rebirth in both a literal and figurative way. I am grateful for every experience that came my way, giving me a chance to grow and excel. 

{Drop Dead Dames} It’s never easy starting something new, especially when it involves a group of girls with really big dreams. This last year, we left our former troupe with just a vision, and with the help of each other and a whole lot of love for burlesque, we have made quite an impact on the burlesque scene in San Diego in a very short amount of time. I am proud to be a Dame and even prouder of all of our accomplishments as a troupe. 

{Festivals} I’ve really put myself out there this year, applying to several different shows and festivals while working personally to grow as a performer. I’ve heard many Nos, but have also been given several opportunities to perform abroad. I’ve performed at the Carolina Burlesque Festival, The Great Southern Exposure, Tiki Oasis and the Hollywood Burlesque Festival. Not bad for only giving birth in April. 

{Burlycon} Up until recently, I’ve mostly been a self taught performer. Prior to I was focusing so much on college, that burlesque was only getting about 30% of my effort. Since graduating in March, I’ve dived head first into every learning opportunity that I’ve had to further my burlesque career. Burlycon was an amazing experience and I got the chance to learn and meet many of my burlesque idols. You will definitely see me back in 2014! 

{Brody Vega} I try and keep my stage life separate from my home life, but certain events tend to bleed into each other. Having my daughter was one, especially when I performed onstage 8 months pregnant! The birth of my daughter has taught me to keep myself grounded (which can be an ever fighting battle), enjoy the small things, and be the woman and role model that I hope she will look up to. 

As we close out this year, hopefully with champagne in our hands, let’s open our arms to this coming year and embrace the many adventures it has waiting for us. Thank you for supporting me thus far, and I hope we will continue on this journey together!

The Great Burlesque Exposition

One thing I really enjoy about traveling for burlesque festivals, is that it gives me a reason to travel the country and hopefully soon the world. I am very happy to announce that I have been selected to perform in Cambridge, MA at the Great Burlesque Exposition in February! Not only do I get the chance to make my debut in the Cambridge/Boston area, but I will be performing in my first festival of 2014!

This year I hope to incorporate all that I’ve been learning into my performances and take them to the next level. I hope to earn the respect of fellow performers and audience members alike, while leave them remembering my name! I have some big plans for 2014 and can’t wait to see what this year will bring. banner for FB