Hey everyone! I really wanted to have a blog entry much sooner than this, but the last few weeks since my New Years post have just been INSANE with work, but also with (and I'm quite happy to say) the rehearsals for a pair of upcoming burlesque shows.
Since I don't have any new PUG product to review today, I thought I'd just take a few minutes of your time to tell you about these shows, how I got to be in them and burlesque in general, the AMAZING talent that are coming together for these show and above all else the unbelievably talented woman who's made them happen.
So without further ado.... here we GO!
3 Shows, 3 Cities, 3 Crazy Nights
First, here are a few things about the shows themselves.
The shows are called "Stories for Grown Ups; a Dr. Seuss Tribute", and are running tonight in Hamilton, Saturday night in London, and Sunday night in Stratford Ontario.
The poster to the left here is from the London show (I'm 5th from the top on the cast list), and as you can tell this is no small lineup.
Sadly due to work I'll be missing tonight's show in Hamilton, but I'm going to be taking part in the London and Stratford shows.
Promotion for the shows has just been incredible, there've been interviews on local radio, flyers and posters all around the city (my hubby and I helped put a few up in the rain last weekend), and the public response has just been INCREDIBLE!
The Hamilton show sold out last week and the London and Stratford shows are doing just as awesome last I heard.
There are quite a few troupes and acts around the city and in the Southern Ontario region, and a lot of them have regular shows and events.
This however is the first though time that I've ever heard of a cast of performers like this having been put together for shows this big on three consecutive nights for a tour.
Believe me that I couldn't be more honoured just to be a part of these shows. What with the feedback we've gotten I can easily see these becoming a regular thing.
As for the that incredible cast that I keep mentioning... well I'd like to tell you a little bit out them too.
The Best Professional Peelers & Performers in Town
Sadly I haven't had the privilege of performing with all of the cast listed, I'm still relatively new to the local burlesque scene but I can tell you about a few of these acts.
First off, the Hi Tones are an unbelievably great band and they absolutely fit right in at burlesque shows, they always have great audience participation and are the perfect closing act for a show like this.
Lucky Freemont is a hilarious and incredibly talented male performer. Comedy is always a major part of his routines and he always has the ladies in the front row laughing their asses off just as much as they're swooning all over him.
I actually got to be in an act with Lucky once a little more than a year ago and I'd really love to do it again one day if time and our schedules permit.
Next there's Red Herring, the professional distraction. I've never performed with Red before but she's one of the my biggest heroes right now. Her acts have been on TV, she regularly tours Canada and the US, and she hosts a monthly burlesque review Reveal Me at the Rivoli. The best part about Red's shows is that she opens them up to as many first time new performers as she can find and who come to her.
The production value of her acts and her entire show are just incredible, and she has the most relatable and approachable personalies that you'll ever find. I got to talk to her at her show's booth at last years Fan Expo about her sci-fi show "Babes in Space in 3DD" and had such a fun time.
You can believe me when I tell you that Red is going to be a super star one day, and however you catch her performances you are going to love them.
Now those are just a few of the acts that will be at the shows, but I can't go on without telling you about the woman who made this all possible by thinking up, organizing, booking, recruiting, promoting and single handily managing this entire 3 city tour, not to mention performing herself...
The Incomparable Mz Kitty Demure
Simply put, Mz Kitty Demure is the entire reason I am in burlesque right now. She is immensely confident, is a true artist, an incredible dancer, is a wiz with theatrical hair and makeup, is simply brilliant, has a sweet and touching demeanor, and in short, is the living embodiment of everything that burlesque is meant to be.
Of course I don't even have to mention that, as you can tell by the picture to the right is also one smoking hot dame :)
(Also if you're wondering she's portraying Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter universe from a recent show of Red Herring's :) )
Be it classic neo-burlesque, fan dancing, belly dancing, or all kinds of genre heavy spirited performances Kitty nails every act she takes on.
As an event organizer and promoter she's even better, and always makes sure that the talent at her shows get their fair cut. This is a big I'm sad to say, since a lot of promoters aren't so courteous to their talent.
How did I get lucky enough to meet a woman like this you ask? Well, a few years ago my hubby and I tried to go to a burlesque show at a local theater but it was sold out by the time we got there and had to go back home.
The next day Kitty had posted on the events Facebook page that she'd hoped everyone enjoyed the show, and I posted that I wish I could have been there to see the show but got there too late to get in. Out of nowhere she offered to reserve tickets for me for the next show, of course I accepted and so my hubby and I went to her next show and got in just fine.
She was amazing as you can expect in two steamy acts, and afterwards I thanked her in person for setting the tickets aside from me. We exchanged information, and stayed in touch via Facebook for the next few busy months. Eventually, she asked me if I was interested in taking a shot at dancing myself (without even asking me to audition first), and I gave it a shot, and I've been in almost all of her shows ever since :)
We've had some awesome times together too, dinner dates, helped with moving, she even volunteered to help me make my Times Square Dunk Me audition video this past spring (she's the one with the red hair that dumps the last bucket of water on me lol).
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was younger was to spend a lot of time with people who told me that they were my friends, but in the end weren't good people and really didn't bring out the best in me. Kitty is the kind of person I and all women should be around, because she really does make you want to be the best that you can possibly be. She's my mentor, and I'm honoured to say that she's a friend.
Also, she came up with the name Tahitia Belle Fille after I was stumped at my first two attempts at burlesque names already being taken as it turns out by porn stars. Seriously... it happened NOT once but TWICE! What the heck are the odds of that right?
So you might be asking yourself right now just how is PUG going to fit into these shows exactly? Well I'm glad that you asked :)
Bringing the PUG Dr. Seuss Style :)
So you're probably wondering just how the heck you could possibly work Pinup Girl Clothing products into a show based around Dr. Seuss themed acts for adults?
During the second world war you see, Dr. Seuss got a job writing the stories for educational army training cartoons , his most famous cartoon work being... drum roll please... Private SNAFU! A clumsy, lazy, whinny, unfit and totally non-committed army recruit who was always getting into trouble doing the things that real soldiers were told NOT to do by their superiors. SNAFU you see is an acronym for Situation Normal: All F$&@ Up :)
That's where PUG comes in, with the help of the always amazing Military Secretary Dress in tan that I picked up before Christmas, along with a cute little garrison cap that my friend Belinda stitched together for me, a steamer trunk prop my husband picked up on kijiji I'll be playing a female version of SNAFU getting into all kinds of lovable and audience pleasing trouble
If I'm able to get someone to record my two acts I'll definitely share them here to so that all can see PUG in action. Be warned before hand that these are definitely NSFW, they get a little bit cheeky at the end (_!_) :)
Wish me luck and I'll let you all know how the routines go!
So now that I'm all done with my own update, let's take another trip to and around the blogosphere!
Around the PUG Style Blogosphere
Kicking off our little tour is Sarah Rose and her Note for the New Year, where she shares with us her own story of the dark place she used to be in, how she came to love the pinup/golden age of Hollywood era and most importantly, how Pinup Girl Clothing helped her learn to love herself in her own skin, and feel a sense of confidence that she was missing. She even threw in two beautiful inspirational quotes at the end that really hit home too!
Sarah's sounds like quite a smart and remarkable woman, and after seeing her rock the ever living hell out of her new Nicole Dress, Doris Top and Perfect Pencil Skirt I can truly say that we should be honoured to have a woman like her in our community. Thanks for sharing Sarah and keep on rocking the Golden Age Hollywood look!
Next up, our good friend Amber shared some beautiful Vintage Family Photos of her adorable mother as a teenager, her dapper young father, some pictures of them on their prom night and wedding only a few years later, and my personal favourites, two old pictures of her grandmother in some stylish winter fashions. Jessica Maria Montalvo-Anderson even got in on the game in the comment section, sharing a couple of her old gorgeous family photos herself. It made me remember an old picture of my mother at a salsa club in the 60's that I really should dig up so I can share myself :)
Michelle Pia shared her own Journey of Pinup Healing with the events that lead up to a simply stunning pinup shoot with Holly West with hair and makeup by Micheline Pitt and Erika Reno that she signed up for a little while back, the pictures from which she graciously shared with us as well. Even more special are her beautiful inspirational words for accepting how we are the only ones who get to define ourselves and what a true woman's beauty really means. She also thanks the ladies at the PUG boutique and praises Michiline and Erika's work, and who can blame her?
I mean it when I say that Michelle's pictures should be used to sell the dresses she's wearing! They're THAT beautiful :)
Denise shared her story in Recovering from Cancer, about how PUG gave her the courage and motivation to aggressively fight her cancer, and how the take charge attitude of attitude of Laura Byrnes and the women at PUG inspired her to start her recovery journey that's she's volunteered to keep us regularly updated on. Bless you Denise! I know you'll get to that personal goal you've set!
Bonnie Lynn Bozell shared with her her idea of, the story of her putting together, hosting and the resulting pictures of her Vintage Hairstyling Photoshoot & Night Out. What can I say? Best. Ladies. Night. EVER! If I can ever organize a PUG meet and greet of my own this is definitely how I'm now planning to end the evening! Thank you for sharing this awesome idea Bonnie and you and your friends have some gorgeous ink!
Lastly Jessica Maria Montalvo-Anderson shared another one of her trademark PUG inspired cross-Indiana roadtrips with PUG for the Holidays! Jessica's in my opinion is THE definitive Pinup Girl in the community! I know exactly what she means about having a love affair with every piece of PUG that you own and not wanting to ever choose one over another for any occasion! I'm glad that there were so many wonderful and amazing occasions that she was able to spread PUG over during the holidays.
Also, if you aren't already, you REALLY should be following Cela Hyatt's blog Pacifiers & Pinups, I just LOVE her last two entries on Vintage Style Personality and Dita Von Teese on Vintage!
So with our trip around the blogosphere complete for another week ('ish), let's have a look at what's going on in the forums!
Forum Time :)
There wasn't a lot of new activity over at the forums, though Brandi Shuey AND Brandy Cross gave me some good advice in the thread What PUG to Wear to a Lady Gaga Concert? Long story short, since it's winter time I'll be leaving the cone bra at home and just going in a Gaga shirt, maybe a PUG belt as a waist cincher and a pair of PUG's red ciagrette leg pants :)
Bonnie Lynn Bozell's thread on So what's the best/funniest compliment you've received while wearin... is just as strong and popular as ever getting new inspiring stories of compliments from friends and strangers alike every day! My favourite kind of story is the one where an elderly person tells a PUG fan that they remind them of the old days and how women used to dress. What beautiful words from people who were there first hand!
The Bucket List thread's going quite good too, when all's said and done I'm definitely going to have to copy down all the different list items that were shared by everyone and post it at the end of the thread as a kind of retrospective
This reminds me, I thought I'd take a minute to start a new feature on my blogs about the Bucket List, more specifically, what things on my list that I've been able to work on so far.
Bucket List Update
Learn to Swing Dance - My husband and I had our first Lindy Hop level 1 class together and we LOVED it! We're taking lessons at a very lovely studio and we're learning from some very approachable and talented dancers. Our goal is to be able to compete in a competition one day, but for now we're crossing off one Bucket List item at a time :)
Here's a video of one of their public performances that we'd love to take part in one day when we're good enough!
See Lady Gaga In Concert - The tickets are bought and in our hands, now I just have to finalize the outfit I'm going to wear and TRY my very hardest to make it into Gaga's "Monster Pit" section of the floor!
Be a Life Model for an Art Class - As luck would have it when my husband and I were putting up posters around town for my friend Kitty's burlesque show we passed a sign by an art studio that said "Life Models Wanted" and provided a number to call. I talked to the studio owner already (it's a reputable studio that I've heard of before and she was very nice to talk to) and it looks like just as soon as I have a free Thursday evening off I'll be able to sit as a model for a painting class. I've never tried sitting still for 3 hours before but I'm really looking forward to this :)
Host a Retro Club Night - My husband and I have talked to one venue about hosting an event, and it's looking like it's going to be pretty pricey, but I DO believe that there's a lot of demand and interest for a Retro Club Night and if my husband and I can get a venue for the right price and do some heavy advertising, I think that this one might just come true for 2013 :)
I'm also still planning on starting up a group here to organize PUG themed get togethers, shopping trips, or even photoshoot parties. I'm thinking of calling it "Northern Pinups" or something close to that.
That's just about that for now everyone! I'm not going to be as busy with work and rehearsing for the next couple of weeks so I should be able to make my next blog post a heck of a lot sooner. Thank you for reading and I'll see you all next time :)
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@Amber You're very welcome Amber and I really hope that I can dig up some family pictures of mine with vintage fashions to share on your thread!
I think you and hubby are going to LOVE Lindy Hope, my husband and I have had so much fun at the two classes that we've been to, the people taking the classes are laid back and the people running the classes are very approachable and welcoming. Have a blast :)
@Brandi Shuey I just read your YouTube comment Brandi and you are SO SWEET! We had so much fun making that video, and it took a few "dry" auditions before we were all confident enough to do a run through with water in the buckets at the end!
As for the bucket list items I'm checking off, so far I've just been lucky that a) Lady Gaga is coming to my home town and b) there's a group that charges reasonable prices to learn swing dance. Those other two list items are still works in progress, so I can't quite cross them off just yet :)
P.S. Okay now you've REALLY piqued my curiosity about this "Dirty" bucket list! I'll tell you what, would you be up for exchanging one of your "dirty" bucket list items for one of my more "risqué" bucket list things to do? :)
@Jessica Maria Montalvo-Anderson I'm glad you like the post Jessica! I definitely agree that burlesque is liberating, and the most fun that I've had in the last few years have been when I've been given the chance to perform.
For me, it really took getting to a place in my life where I was finally happy being me to be able to start performing. It turns out when you accept yourself there really isn't anything you can't try :) It may have been fun to do it when I was younger, but I wasn't there yet, and I couldn't be any happier than I'm there now. One of the big reasons for that is women like you and everyone else in this community who really stand behind one another and only want each other to be the woman they were made to be.
It's like you said, what could be more beautiful than a woman confident and free? :)
If you ever do consider doing burlesque Jessica I'm sure you would be awesome at performing. Any talent that you have could make for a great routine, if you like comedy, dancing, poetry. I'm sure that there are lots of troupe's in your area that would love to have a woman like you be a part of their shows.:)
Having a mini-shoot with Masuimi Max would be... wow... that would be so many kinds of awesome! I wish you all the luck in making that dream come true :)
You are most certainly welcome for the definitive PInup Girl compliment, I've just LOVED reading about your roadtrips and adventures, seeing your gorgeous pictures and hearing how you've worked PUG into each and every event and occasion and documented just how each outfit added to your experiences :) I know what you mean about loving being a girly girl, I can't wait to see what kind of (fun) trouble your lioness gets up to this year!
I've got a lot of work to do on that bucket list still but I promise to keep everyone posted and I'll let you all know how the life modelling goes :)
@Brandi PM replied too :) It's fun sharing with girlfriends isn't it? :)
That's awesome about your performance, break a leg! I have always wanted to try burlesque but I'm a bit of a chicken and my husband isn't too comfortable with it so I'll stick to clothed modeling :) also, my husband and I have been talking about doing swing dance lessons too, we haven't had the time or disposable income to dedicate to it yet. It will be so fun and I can't wait to see video of you cutting up that rug! I always look forward to these posts from you, to see what I missed in the PUGverse.
p.s. Thanks for the shoutout ;)
Thank you so much Cela! As for giving burlesque a shot, if you do want to give it a try you can do all kinds of burlesque acts that let you stay clothed and decent the whole time. Singing, specialty dancing, comedy, any of these could make for awesome routines if they're in your comfort zone. Just being creative is all you need to get started really.
I know what you mean about swing dancing not being easy on your wallet, it is so much fun though and I know you'll definitely love it if you are able to take it up. My husband was actually talking to another student who's a high school teacher who told him that you can actually learn swing dancing in high schools now.
Where was that when we were in school right? :)
Tahitia I loved your audition video. So funny and adorable, I'm sure you'll do great. Sounds so exciting. Congrats on the show.