Eva Mae Garnet, burlesque, burlesque in San diego

Feisty Thoughts: Feminine Power and Childbirth

I’ve been thinking a few feisty thoughts about feminine power and societies response to it. Throughout history there are examples of societies taking steps to lessen a woman’s power, both physically and through weakening her spirit. We see this in the battle for women’s rights to choose what happens to their bodies, we see this through laws that create women as second class citizens, and we see this through the social normative behaviors that constantly belittle women till they themselves believe their power is less than. Lately, I have been thinking about these behaviors in relationship to a woman’s ability to give birth and her relationship with that birthing experience.

Almost four years ago I gave birth to my daughter. It was an experience I would never forget and that I was fortunate enough to have. When I found out I was pregnant, I chose to go through a midwife and to have my baby naturally and out of a hospital. For living in the states, going through a midwife is incredibly taboo. Besides the point that we live in a healthcare based society, the idea of having a child naturally, especially to American women, is a nightmare. We are led to believe that the pain is so great we could not stand it. We are told that if there are drugs to numb the pain, why even endure the efforts? American women are so used to being told that we are weak that many no longer believe they are capable of giving birth, one of the most natural experiences there is.

Now before you start believing that I am so naive and in my own perfect world bubble, I get it. I understand why we would believe that. I battled with the same thought process every time someone questioned my logic and capabilities to go through with a natural birth. And the fact that I was planning on a having a baby outside of the hospital, LORD, I have never received so many concerned inquiries/prayers/wtf and I doings in my life. The fact of the matter was, I was tired of being told that I wasn’t as strong as I know I am. Ladies, we are fierce, amazing, fabulous life-giving beings, and even if you never decide to have children, just knowing AND believing that fact is empowering.

Child-bearing is a power that we should take strength in and know that we can do, and we can do without the assistance of what is considered normal American health care procedures. We are not fragile. If you have a low-risk healthy pregnancy and labor past 37 weeks, you are physically capable of surviving the pains of normal birth. That’s not to say that no women needs modern medicine. There are various reasons why a doctor would become necessary; high-risk birth, multiples, pre-term labor, extensive labor, or sometimes the baby is literally just too big. These are a few of the times when it makes sense to seek a doctor. But what I am referring to specifically is that we grow up believing that the normal procedure for giving birth is being drugged up with pain killing and labor inducing medications in a hospital bed before ever giving any indication of physically needing them. The first thought of going into labor should not be a reach for unnecessary medication.

It used to be that many women would deliver at home, and even now in many European countries it is normal practice to only go to a midwife unless something is going wrong in your pregnancy. This shift has happened for multiple reasons, commercialization of the health care industry, a shift from midwifery to the hospital system, and social practices of over medicating to name a few, but there is one more that we don’t talk about too often. The continually exaggeration of women as weak and incapable creatures who can’t bear pain, despite our bodies being designed to overcome.

So the next time you may or may not hear a friend, family member, or even some random Facebook friend (the one you aren’t quite sure where you met them, but you feel it may be too rude to delete them JUST in case), talk about natural childbirth, don’t let the first thing you think or say be, “Oh I could NEVER do that!” You can. You have that strength. You have that power. You have that capability, and your body is fucking magnificent! Now if you choose not to because you just don’t want to go through that pain, fine, to each their own. But you are much stronger than you ever thought.

 

Get Ready for a Groovy Time!

Whiskey & Fuego is proud to announce our inaugural monthly show, Burlesque Boogie Nights at the Sycamore Den!

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Are you ready for a bangin’ good time? Then head out to the Sycamore Den for the first installment of our new monthly show “Burlesque Boogie Nights”. With foxy ladies, blazin’ hips, and performances that will make you glad you left the crib, we’ll have you leaving yelling Boo-YAH!

Featuring:
Eva Mae Garnet Burly-q
Ginger N. Whiskey
Lilly Holiday
Coco L’Amour

Catch both shows at 9:15 PM and 10:15 PM.
There is NO COVER but tips are highly encouraged.

Let’s Boogie!

www.whiskeyandfuego.com
www.sycamoreden.com/

Mornings on the Beach

There’s nothing like being on the beach early in the morning while most people are just starting to wake up. Luckily, I teamed up with Rebekka Payne photography for some fun fashion shoots off the shores of La Jolla. Wardrobe was provided by the ever talented NinkoTea Designs.

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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

 

Above All Else, Create

Yesterday was one of those days where the world seemed to be closing in with no hope. I woke up in a panic, having physical reactions to anxiety and distress. Somehow, with the help of loved ones, I managed to get out of bed and get a few chores done. By mid afternoon, I had enough. I called my mom and completely broke down. I cried for a good hour rejecting every single thing she suggested and deeming my situation hopeless.

But something happened after I cried that hard. I felt numb still, and yesterday was not the day to attempt to do anything, but I made a mental note at that moment saying that I would allow myself that day to wallow, but tomorrow, tomorrow I create. Today I woke up inspired. I woke up with solutions rather than doom and gloom. The one thing I realized through that mini day of self-doubt and sorrow was that what makes people great and successful is not their inability to avoid hardships and doubt, but their ability to push through it and still continue to create.

I started thinking about people like Madonna and Beyonce, artists who have created so much material that I haven’t even heard or seen half of what they have done. I don’t particularly care for everything they create, and by no means is everything they put out into the world a masterpiece, but what they do is persevere. They continue to create their art, their songs, their videos, and their visions and put them out into the world. Nothing stops them, and that is why they are so respected in their industry. Granted they have a team helping them, but the core concept is still there, and there is nothing stopping you from building your own team of similarly interested individuals.

So today, if you have been struggling to see the brighter side things, I challenge you to create something for no reason at all. Start that project that has been on the back burner for what seems like ages. Try something new with no intentions of perfecting it. Play, create, and put it out there into the world knowing that the act of creation is what is most important. The rest as they say, will follow. We just have to believe in ourselves, our visions, and our own unique capabilities. After all there is no one exactly like you.

 

Eva Mae Logo

Photo by Michael W. Photography

Redhead in Infrared

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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/

Love Your Audience

I started this post as a laundry list of reasons why I sometimes don’t attend other local burlesque shows. The reasons ranged from money to getting a sitter to downright exhaustion. But the longer I looked at these reasons, the more I realized that these were not circumstances that were isolated to performers, producers, or the burlesque community. These were reasons why audience members across the board may not attend a show. 

As I sat there, reading what I wrote, I began to appreciate every last audience member that has come out to our productions even more. They have taken the time to plan an evening around us, make plans for any children they may have, gotten dressed up, withstood any exhaustion they may have to support our troupe and catch a show. That means more than I can ever express. 

I know it can be easy to get caught up in numbers and preshow stress, but always take a moment to be thankful for every person that makes their way out to your show. Without them, we would only be performing for ourselves and a few friends. 

We love you guys! 

Drop Dead Dames’ 2016 Calendar Release

It has become a yearly tradition with the troupe I co-produce, the Drop Dead Dames, to shoot a calendar with Vixen Photography. This year, we came up with a cohesive idea that turned out beautiful. We decided to use the theme, the Wild Women of Burlesque, and show off our primitive sides. As always Scott at Vixen Photography took our theme and made it a gorgeous reality. There really isn’t anything that he can’t do. Many of you don’t know this, but I’m also a graphic designer. It was my job to do the final layout of the calendar, and I really went all out this year with specialized cheetah print laid out in a grid to prove it. To say that I’m proud of this year’s calendar is a bit of an understatement.

So without further ado, if you are interested in looking at gorgeous dames all year long, then pick up our calendar which is now released on our online store. Get yours before they are all gone!

https://squareup.com/market/drop-dead-dames-burlesque-revue

Feisty Thoughts: Transitions

If you asked me to describe myself in three words I would say I was passionate, loving, and a workaholic. From a young age I picked up my family’s work ethics, and have brutally policed myself on my drive and capabilities ever since. From holding down three jobs while pregnant and finishing college, to co-producing a leading troupe in San Diego with more determination than we know what to do with, drive and work have never been far from my vocabulary. But I currently find myself in new territory. I am currently in a personal and professional transition that I’m not quite sure how to process.

Ironically enough, I have always been one to follow a formula, at least in my professional life. You work hard in school and get the grades. Then you go to college and get the degree. Then you find a job and work hard and get promoted. Then you continue to work hard and continue to rise in said job. But what happens when you find out that formula isn’t fail proof? What happens when you realize that the college degree you were told to get comes with devastating student loans that you now have to pay back? What happens when you find out that those in your career don’t follow this same formula, and more often than not, those who work the least and have friends within the system are the ones to get promoted as well as take the praise for your work? Well in my personal story, the answer is you walk away from that formula and you decide to work for yourself.

So after almost a year of contemplation, depression, and constant anxiety, I walked away from a situation that wasn’t helping me grow. And here I am. A professional showgirl, graphic designer, video assistant, and now blogger who has no idea what my next steps are. And for someone like myself, that is terrifying.

I’ve been through various transitions in my life. I moved out to California from Charleston with about $300 to my name and no clue what my next steps were. I had my daughter two weeks after my college graduation with no clue as to how my husband, then boyfriend, and I were going to survive. I walked away from a drug filled life including “friends” and surroundings cold turkey when I decided to get clean. But the one thing I keep thinking about, is that in each of these transitions, I threw myself into work. Work took on various forms, but it was work none the less.

The question I keep asking myself is, what do I need to confront? Instead of distracting myself, what if I took time for me and figured out what I need in my life to feel whole. Instead of being afraid of what the future can hold, what if I entertained the excitement of the unknown? What if I don’t have a plan, but just a general direction? What if I give myself time to just float and see where it takes me?

I have a lot of family and friends who are going through their own transitions. Some are having kids, some are changing jobs, and some are starting to evaluate where they are in space and time. My advice to you, is not to get caught up in the comparison game. Focus on yourself, and allow yourself time to mourn what you lost, and celebrate the unknown. Give yourself time to float before you power down the river to success. Realize the beauty in stillness and spend some time in the air before you ground yourself. It’s okay, as long as you know that it’s not a long-term solution. Sometimes we all need to go on a soul search. Read things that interest you. Show some love to your body by working out and meditating. Take some time to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.”

What if that was our 30 day challenge? What if we took 30 days to show some self-love? Where will that take us? What’s the worst that can happen? You come out happier and more confident than before? I will be taking that journey, and I invite you all to do the same.
#takingtimetofloat