Behind The Garter Belt: Anna Fur Laxis

Anna Fur Laxis blew me away with her clever Bettie Page tribute at The Windy City Burlesque Festival last April. With the amazing transitions from Bad Bettie to Good Bettie, I thought she was just the dame to interview for my costume column. You can check out her amazing act here: Anna Fur Laxis on YouTube

1. What is the importance of costuming to the burlesque performance? Do you come up with the act or the costume first?

The costume is central to my performances, completely fundamental. I probably spend more time than is healthy on getting everything exactly how I want it!

The act comes first, in the past I’ve had what I thought was a killer outfit and tried to build an act around it, but I’ve found that this tends to lead me into a dead end and ultimately limits what the act c...

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Behind The Garter Belt: SATAN’S ANGEL

When I saw Satan’s Angel perform her fire tassels routine out in the Mojave Desert heat in 2005’s Miss Exotic World pageant, I was speechless. This woman was Tina Turner and Mick Jagger rolled up into one fiery package. She is the rock n’ roll of burlesque! I’ve been fortunate to have this outstanding woman as a mentor in my own fire tassels act and Toronto will get to see her in action this July for The Toronto Burlesque Festival.

Note: The capitals are the way Satan’s Angel always types so I’ve retained that.

1. How did you end up in burlesque?

I HAD JUST GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS GETTING READY TO GO TO COLLEGE. I HAD GOT MYSELF A JOB AS A PBX OPERATOR, MAKING $99.OO EVERY TWO WEEKS...

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Get Thee to a Mentor!

"get thee to a mentor" by sydni devereaux

***Below are my personal opinions on mentorship. I have a big mouth, and this is my blog. Be warned.***

As I sit here, as I often do after reading my books and autobiographies about success and successful people, all I really wanted to share is: GET THEE TO A MENTOR!

When I began burlesque 6 years ago I had forgotten what it was like to have a mentor, as my previous mentor had been in high school by the name of Scott Brown and he was most likely the most influential teacher (and my vocal jazz teacher) I have ever had. I had forgotten because I got all tied up in the glitz and glam of the whole thing, and not the bones and blood of it.

As I grew as a performer in my very baby burlesquer days (I’m still a baby-well maybe a toddler) , I was lucky, very lucky to be surrounded by my troupe...

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What To Do When You Faceplant on Stage

On Wednesday, I had a bad show.

It happens. And as performers, we all must deal with it at some point.

But it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference.

Now, it’s not like I tripped and busted open my face (which I’ve done) or accidentally took a swan dive off the end of the stage (which I’ve also done) or slipped and fell so spectacularly that I took flight in mid-air (which I’ve also done – are you sensing a theme here?)

No, I just had a kinda “eh” performance. But you know what? It happens. It’s part of being a regular, working performer: you will have good days and bad days. And it’s unrealistic and arrogant to assume that every single one of your performances should be OMG ON FIRE BURNING DOWN THE FUCKING HOUSE.

It’s the gradients of performance – fro...

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Revealing Images: Gigi and Pop

In Revealing Images, photographer Don Spiro dishes up sweet photographic treats and the stories behind them. Today, Don aims his lens at New York City based band, Gigi and Pop.

gigi & pop by don spiro
Gigi and Pop are a band based in New York City that is popular in the burlesque scene, it’s individual members have been performing burlesque for years and as a combo have taken home the trophy for the “Best Variety Act” category at the 2009 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. Taro, Anita Cookie and Ken Ball truly define variety, they can perform in any scene in any category.

When they asked me to do a photo shoot with them I knew it would be just as varied. Dark and moody or light and comic? Straightforward representation or fantastic and whimsical? The answer to everything is yes.

Taking a cue from album cover ...

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