VIVA! Part One

Hi dolls! I apologize for the lack of posting recently, but my health has been at the forefront or things and I am now slated to have another shoulder surgery this Friday – this time on the opposite shoulder. I have a torn labrum and a fracture of the humeral head (the part of your upper arm bone that goes into your shoulder). So, I am going in for my sixth time getting cut open. Hence the radio silence! But I wanted to make a few posts whilst I still had both my arms and hands available to do so πŸ˜‰

Although it has been several months, I have quite a stockpile of great photos and videos from Viva that I am sure no one will mind seeing or re-visiting if you had the wonderful opportunity to attend. This was the last Viva held on Easter weekend – hereafter, Viva will be held near Easter weekend, but not directly during it. I am sure that means numbers of those attending will skyrocket!

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One of my first stops was the Charles Phoenix show. Ever since I randomly decided to attend his show last year, I loved it and had to go back. It’s always pretty packed in the showroom because many others think so too! He was his usual zany self, in his crazy wardrobe, with his awesome shots.

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Check out a little video I took below of his show:

Next up was the Burlesque Showcase, one of my favorites to attend at Viva.

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First was Audrey Deluxe, the organizer of all of the burlesque events at Viva. She always has such cute routines!

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Tara MiSioux was next up, and she is one of my favorites. She always has classy, vintage-styled routines set to jazz-y music.

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Kitten & Lou were next, and they had such a cute and kitschy routine!

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One of my absolute favorites, Roxi D’Lite, was up next. She has such amazing dancing and acrobatic skills, and she is gorgeous!

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The fabulous Ms. Perle Noire followed Roxi. She is known for her energy and spunk and did not disappoint in that!

One of the last acts was one that I had anticipated the most, as I am an avid follower of Lou Lou D’Vil on Instagram and Facebook and I think she is super talented (not to mention beyond beautiful!). She is from Finland and her acts are always fierce and on point!

Warning: NSFW Content (pastie falls off)

“But what did you wear?!” You ask? Well…

  
During the day I wore an amazingly detailed vintage Mexican-style dress from the 1950s, complete with beautiful embroidery and gorgeous lace inlays. Very light and flowy! At night I wore the Tatyana Gold Digger dress, one of my favourite “night out” dresses for sure. Just look at it – it screams “vintage glam”!
Stay tuned for the next Viva post, along with my excursion to California for some Old Hollywood quality time!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part Two

And so we start on part two! Let’s get right down to business, shall we?

Saturday was the car show. It is THE day of all of Viva. The men and women don their best day garb, their best hairdos, and their best poses (as well as parasols!) for the day of vendors, cars, and shows.

After my friend Nicole left back to California, I made my way to the car show. I followed the flock to just outside the Orleans Arena. As soon as I walked in, the fun began!

The vendors were all over as soon as you walked in. There was Pin Up Girl Clothing, Steady, Bomber Betty, Miss L Fire, Secrets in Lace, and various independent sellers. I walked around for at least an hour before I managed to see everything. I wanted to buy it all! But I made my go around again for actual purchases and I nabbed this beautiful purse:

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I scooped up these gorgeous NOS bakelite earrings – 3 for $50!

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I picked up some Viva playing cards (I had to!), and a tube of the amazing Bomber Betty lip gloss that Cherry Dollface came out with. And guess who I got to meet?!

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She is SO sweet and you can just feel that she is a beautiful person on the inside as well as outside. I was by myself, but her rad husband Trevor took the picture for me. I said, “He’s your photographer too! He’s your everything, huh?” She giggled and gushed, “He IS my everything!” Isn’t that so sweet?! After meeting her and chatting with her for a solid 5 minutes, I have even more respect and admiration for her than I had prior!

After meeting Cherry, I made my way over to the bleachers to wait for Imelda May to come on. Just before her, the pinup contest was held on the side stage. It was so cute! All of the ladies were great.

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After that, it was Imelda May time! I managed to nab a few clips of her performance which I posted below:

She was amazing! She is one of the few who sounds exactly the same live as she does on her albums. Perfection!

Oh, and did I mention the marriage proposal in the middle of the show?

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It was beyond sweet πŸ™‚

And the cars! Oh my πŸ˜€

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After Imelda May, I went back to the hotel for a quick relax and chat with the hubby, and then I went on my merry way back to the hotel to see the Jive Aces! They are an amazing British jive/swing band infused with just the right amount of rock n’ roll. If you haven’t checked them out yet, what are you waiting for?!

Here is a montage of their performance:

After the show, I just had to nab myself a Jive Aces shirt (but you knew that already, huh? πŸ˜‰ )

My Sunday Viva outfit was this lovely little frock I recently nabbed on eBay:

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Sunday is always the wind down for Viva, so I relaxed in my hotel room until about 4:30 when I left to see the last Charles Phoenix slideshow 😦 But he was just as amazing as ever! It was Easter, so he got us doughnuts!

Here is Charles with his Test Kitchen rat meatloaf:

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Imaging eating that?! LOL.

After his awesome slideshow, I grabbed a bite to eat and went to wait in line for burlesque bingo. I went back in 2012 and loved it – I had to at least make one trip back!

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I walked in and found a seat in the front row to the left side of the stage. And who did I see I sat next to? The one and only Raquel Reed!

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She was so sweet. She is also from NY/NJ so we bonded over that and talked about how we were away from our men and they didn’t like it πŸ˜› She is an awesome gal whom I hope to see perform soon around this neck of the woods!

Burlesque Bingo was put on and hosted by the awesome Audrey DeLuxe.

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The first performer was the amazing Bettina May!

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There were so many other great performers like Ms. Redd, Cleo Viper, Tara Misoux, Frankie Sin, and more!

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That last one is of Tom Ingram doing a split to make good on a bet he made with Audrey DeLuxe. He did a great job! It was hilarious.

Here’s a montage:

After that I went to the vendor room again one last time, when they have massive sales to unload stock so they won’t have to cart it home. I bought one last thing: a pack of Rockin’ Rollers!

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I can’t wait to try them! I will give it a go and report back on how it went πŸ™‚

The next day (morning), I woke up at 3:30 AM and made my way back home. Eight hours and a layover later, I was back in NY Town.

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It was over 😦 But I had an amazing time. And I can’t wait for next year!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part One

Hello everyone!

I had the great pleasure of going to Viva Las Vegas 17 this year, and it was a blast! I was by myself most of the time, except for Friday night into Saturday I got to spend with my bestie and maid of honour Nicole πŸ™‚

I arrived on Thursday afternoon, checked in to my hotel, and immediately got to work. I zipped from the Gold Coast over to the Orleans via shuttle bus. The excitement was building with each second I spent on that bus, and when it pulled in front of the Orleans, I walked in and immediately took in that uniquely sweet smell that only Viva seems to provide.

Let the fun begin!

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It was great to see everyone there, decked out in their rockabilly and vintage best! I felt so exhilarated being back, it was surreal.

I checked out the vendors, who were out in full force with their amazing wares! I managed to nab a Steady pencil skirt in a gorgeous soft pale yellow that has legs, eyes, and all sorts of silly random prints on it. I also nabbed my usual VLV shirt, as well as the VLV grocery bag. After making the rounds with the vendors, I somehow managed to stay up until 11 PM (2 AM Eastern!) to see the amazing Kim Lenz. I am glad I told myself “NO!” and forced myself to rally against what my own body was telling me, because she was fab!

The next day, Friday, I got up “early” to make sure I could nab some tickets for Nicole and me for the burlesque showcase. Yes, I am a girl, and I love burlesque. It is so much fun and there are so many women from different walks of life that are all there to celebrate their bodies and just have an awesome time. Who wouldn’t love that?! I managed to nab great seats on the left side of the stage four rows back. I couldn’t wait!

Next was a meet up I had with some girls from a Facebook group of plus sized ladies so that we can sell our clothing and it is catered to our sizing. We met in one of the girl’s hotel rooms at the Orleans, and I started to lay out the approximately 12 items I brought. I labelled them, talked with some fellow members, and shopped a bit. But only 35 minutes later, we were kicked out by Orleans security. It was a whole debacle and shocked the hell out of all of us. We left there upset and concerned. It was all very unfortunate 😦

After that, I tried to find something else to fill my time until my friend Nicole arrived. It was 3:35 PM. The Charles Phoenix slideshow had started 5 minutes ago! I ran over to the showroom and was able to nab a seat. I had never seen him before, but he came as highly recommended by a fellow rockabilly friend in NYC, Lucirene. And guess what? He was hysterical, interesting, and entertaining πŸ™‚

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I just knew I had to make Sunday’s slideshow too!

My friend Nicole made it around 6 PM, so we hung out in the hotel room while we got ready. Even just hanging out getting ready is fun with Nicole πŸ™‚

We made it to the burlesque showcase at 9 PM. There was a wide array of amazing acts like Roxi D’Lite, Angie Pontani, Cleo Viper, and who I was most excited about: Dirty Martini. I couldn’t wait!

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Roxi D’Lite was one of the first, and possibly one of the best performers of the night. Her racy S&M performance was certainly a stand out!

Gal Friday and Peekaboo Pointe had such a cute “fight” routine!

Angie Pontani had a very elegant, very beautiful ballet routine. It was rather ethereal!

Cleo Viper had a truly vamp routine, it was badass. And my goodness is she stunning!

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And last but not least: the amazing and incomparable Dirty Martini!

All the ladies came out for one last bow, to a round of deafening applause. It was a great way to put the top on the Friday that was at Viva Las Vegas 17!

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And no, we didn’t finish the night there: we had some drinks, gambled a little, watched some fabulous jive/stroll/swing dancing, and made fun of things such as this:

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I’ll leave you to analyze this for today πŸ˜‰

Viva Las Vegas 17: Part Two coming tomorrow!

Viva Las Vegas 17: Pre-Game Tips & Tricks

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As some of you may know via my Facebook page, I will be making the pilgrimage to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend for the first time since 2012. I am beyond excited, and I will get to spend some good QT with my main gal and maid of honour Nicole! I am sure I will have a much better time having her with me and we can totally enjoy ourselves πŸ™‚

Seeing as Viva is only a little over a month away (!), I wanted to give everyone a good pre-game list to refer to regardless of whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned VLV vet.

Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Overpack
I know this seems like a pretty basic tenet, but any gal who has been to Viva previously knows this is impossible. You need a day dress for each day, an evening dress for each nightly event, accessories for each outfit, shoes, undergarments, and more. One can simply not afford to look less than fab! But this also means you’re risking having a veritable army of suitcases to lug with you. This may not be so bad if you are driving for a couple of hours, but for someone like yours truly who is flying from NYC to Las Vegas, it’s a logistical nightmare. Luckily, the military taught this girl how to pack and be efficient with space. I know how to roll clothing to make the most use if my space and to not get many wrinkles. It may be painful to have to leave those vintage 1940s wedges that match perfectly with your vintage New Look wrap dress for a pair that is more comfortable and can go with two or three dresses (albeit not perfectly), but you will be glad you did. Which leads me to…

2. Be prepared to leave some suitcase wiggle room

The main lesson I learned at Viva my first go? You’ll be shopping. If you’re not shopping, you’re not living the full Viva experience! And seeing as such, you’re going to be bringing those goodies home, n’est-ce pas? You’ll be needing room for those, darlings! I have heard numerous occurrences of girls having to go and buy another suitcase just to get their spoils home. And you know what another suitcase usually means – checked bag fees! Why deal with that crap? Even better, have a flattened/expandable bag tucked inside your main one for such an issue. Then take it as a carry on. VoilΓ  – problem solved!

3. Heels may look nice…but OW!

Some of you may know I have chronic pain in my left foot from nerve damage in a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). Because of this, I rarely wear heels. My husband couldn’t care less (he’s about an inch shorter than me), but sometimes a woman just wants to feel sexy and gorgeous in her heels! Well, Viva may not be that place. You will be doing a LOT of walking (and dancing!). If you slap those 4″ on at 8 AM for a day lasting until 3 AM, you won’t make it that far without being in horrendous pain. Nearly everything at Viva requires walking or movement of some sort. You don’t want to spoil your awesome trip because of some stupid foot pain and only remember the grief those blisters gave you, right? Go with those flats or a sturdy pair of wedges and rock what the man above gave you, girl!

4. Looking to see some pastie-adorned ladies? Be prepared for lines

I remember my very first day at VLV 15 – my first 45 minutes at the Orleans was spent waiting in line…one that ran and wove nearly the whole length of the casino. Why? I had to see the burlesque showcase! But that line though 😦 I am a New Yorker, we notoriously despise lines. I grumped my way to the front and got my tickets, but I know it would have been a little easier to prepare for that line mentally prior to actually being in it. I never even tried to get tickets for the burlesque competition. It would have given me agita.

6. The “main” days of Viva are always Friday and Saturday

I always prefer to arrive on Thursday, rather than Wednesday sometime. If you look at the schedule here, you can see there aren’t really many big deal events going on Thursday or Sunday (well, I see Kim Lenz on Thursday night, sooo…there can be an exception or two πŸ˜‰ ). So take the time to dance, meet up with friends you aren’t hanging with the whole time, or go see what the rest of Vegas has to offer (it’s amazing – trust me, I lived there for over two years!). Maximize your time to however you please!

7. Did you notice I left out 5?

Just seeing if y’all are paying attention πŸ˜›

8. Wear as much authentic vintage as possible if you want to look unique

I can’t stress this enough. My first go at Viva I brought a lot of Bettie Page dresses. And for each dress I saw at least three other girls nearby wearing the same one. That’s a shitty feeling, honestly. I now know much better than to do that again. And luckily my vintage dress collection has grown so much since then, so I have a lot of unique pieces I can wear when I go. As much as I absolutely love Pinup Girl Clothing and Bettie Page, I would never dream of bringing dresses or clothing there unless they were basics. There is just way too much of a chance of running in to other girls with the same exact outfit. Try and bring your most fabulous and most original pieces to Viva – it will be worth it! You’ll be the only fab girl wearing that one of a kind fab outfit πŸ™‚

9. Be sure to have FUN!

A lot of women seem to think of Viva as some sort of huge competition with everyone else. I HATE that. I go to enjoy it, not to compare myself with everyone else. I am there to shop, enjoy my friends, listen to music, check out awesome cars, and just generally rock out and have a good time. Why stress yourself out trying to compete? You will only remember that and not the awesome show that Imelda May gave at the car show! And what kind of fun is that?

 

What tips and tricks do any of you all have out there for fellow Viva goers?

 

Oops I Did It Again

Well, I did it again. I got another tattoo, that is. I’ve been stressed out a lot lately and felt a pull to get more ink. I made my appointment and my artist Leo was ready to go. I wanted an old school Sailor Jerry tattoo, and that what he absolutely lives to do, so he was beyond elated to ink it on me. And you know I was beyond elated to have him ink this beauty:

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I had wanted it for a while and couldn’t wait to head to Supernova in Astoria. I feel like it is a second home to me now. As soon as I got there I felt my stress level go down and my excitement go up! And the atmosphere there is awesome:

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You can see Leo is quite the old school tattoo artist with his Sailor Jerry books full of old school designs you’d be likely to see on a seaman 50 years ago. I love the vintage/pinup/burlesque vibe that these tattoos offer, and I know I want more and more! I have a feeling I’m going to be totally tattooed in a few years πŸ˜‰

As soon as that needle hit my skin I felt my stress level and pain just melt away. Sometimes getting a new tattoo helps my pain more than the pain meds do – weird, huh? But it’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

So what does the grand finale end look like? Here it is…

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This is from Leo’s Instagram, and as you can tell, he had an awesome time doing the tattoo. I had a great time too! I can just sit while he inks me and shoot the shit with him. The best part was he was wearing a Viva Las Vegas shirt from when he was there in 2011. I went in 2012. We both want to go next year! All in all, an awesome experience. But that’s par the course at Supernova πŸ˜‰

NY Burlesque Festival Special Interview – Miss Truvy Trollop!

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I have been wanting to go to at least one show of the 10th Annual New York Burlesque Festival for at least two months now, and I was undecided as to what show to attend. But when I heard the fab Miss Truvy Trollop would be performing at the Teaser Party on the first night, I was excited – I saw her at the Burlesque Bingo event at Viva, and both me and my friend I went with thought her personality and humour made the show just that much more fun.

As it happened to turn out, I won tickets from Time Out magazine to go to that very show! I was beyond excited, and I was just itching to get out of class that day so I could get on to the fun!

When I found out I won tickets, I sent Truvy a list of interview questions that I had hoped she would answer so I could share them with you, my readers, on my blog. I wasn’t expecting a response – she’s a busy gal, after all – but not only did she reply, she gave meaty responses! I was elated.

When I got to the Bell House, I was right in front, directly behind the professional photographers. There were two guys behind us, and I saw a woman chatting with them. I looked again. Was it Truvy? It was! But she just left before I could say hi, but then my friend Eric turned around to ask one of the guys Truvy was talking to (coincidentally also named Eryk!) if it was her then introduced me. Her friend said I could meet her, and we did. She is a sweet girl, and we took a picture together. I didn’t want to bother her too much, I knew she was there with her friends and also wanted to enjoy the show, so I said thank you and good luck!

Here is the interview of Truvy Trollop that lets you know more about who she is, what she does, and the reality of burlesque!

Veronica Vintage: What made you want to get into burlesque?

Truvy Trollop: Since I was a baby I have been involved in the song and dance world in some way. When I went to my first burlesque show I felt like I had been training my whole life to do it. I had instantly found my calling the minute I stepped foot on stage as Truvy Trollop. It was incredible.

VV: Who is an inspiration for you?

TT:My biggest inspiration in life is my mother and her sisters. Six of the most beautiful, talented, intelligent women you will ever meet.

In burlesque, I was inspired firstly, by Dirty Martini and Jennie Lee. From there, when I really dove in, I began to learn about other amazing legends of burlesque. My favorite performers are our legends who are still at it. Women like Tempest Storm, Tiffany Carter, Judith Stein, Madame E, Satans Angel and so many more. I could literally go on and on. Those women inspire me to do better and to do it with love.

VV: How long have you been performing and what was your first show?

TT: The first burlesque show I ever did was in Nashville at Music City Burlesque’s 1st Annual Boo-lesque at the Belcourt in 2007.

VV: How long does it take for you to make your stage outfits since you make them by hand?

TT: My costumes are a team effort. I am no seamstress and do not claim to be but I am a master embellisher. Meaning, I can lay down some rhinestones like no one you have ever seen! My best friend, Lauren Cohen, makes most of my gowns and customs pieces. She is super talented. A fully customized and embellished costume takes a while to create. You can never have enough rhinestones.

VV: BeyoncΓ© has an on stage persona of Sasha Fierce. Do you have one, or are you just who you are off stage as on?

TT: Truvy Trollop is a persona I created for burlesque. It’s my stripper name. Ha! Truvy, is an extension of my personality. She is me, but turned all the way up to ten.

VV: What inspires new acts for you?

TT: I want to be new and different and do things people have not seen. I am working on a new signature act right now that involves a lot of new elements that I have yet to bring to the stage. I want to make sure people know that I am no one trick pony. I am not just a pretty dancer.

VV: What is difficult about being a mother in your profession? A plus?

TT: I had just started doing burlesque when I got pregnant with my first and only child. I performed at four months pregnant, co-produced and co-hosted a show four days before I gave birth and then started doing burlesque again only a month after I had my daughter. Burlesque made me feel like I could conquer the world and my fellow burlesque mamas gave me the inspiration, will and power. Seriously, the other moms I met through burlesque have been life changing. I have made some of life’s greatest friends in these last few years and I met them through my burlesque life. They are the plus. I am lucky I haven’t had to deal with much negativity.

VV: What is your favourite part of being in burlesque ?

TT: I love so many things about it but I will give you my top two. One:All the amazing people I have met So many fascinating people are a part of this industry. Doctors, lawyers, professors, moms, dads, and on and on. Its wild!
Two: The opportunity to expand my creative self. I love entertaining people. The chance to put on shows is a dream come true.

VV: What is the biggest negative in your profession for you?

TT: Body glue! Its not easy or fun getting pasties to stick to your nipples! Ouch!

VV: What has burlesque taught you that you wish other women could experience and embrace?

TT: Another one of my favorite things in burlesque. I wish more women today could realize that they are so beautiful just the size they are today. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all have fat days and we all look at a picture sometimes and say, “Damn, I should have sucked my gut in more” but I feel like today there is such a warped sense of pretty. I just see some many women in burlesque of different shapes and sizes and I like that. It’s like Honey Boo Boo child says, “Pretty comes in all sizes, and my size is cute!”

VV: What is one of the biggest stereotypes of burlesque?

TT: That its like the movie “Burlesque.” Burlesque shows are so varied. Some are small local shows in dive bars with crappy lights and sound. Some are in major venues with millions in productions. Some big shows suck and some little shows blow you away. It’s like going to see live bands. Some are great and some are not so great. You have to hunt down the good ones.

VV: What is one of your greatest moments that comes to mind as a performer?

TT: I am performing at the 10TH ANNUAL NEW YORK BURLESQUE FESTIVAL IN MERE HOURS…I will have to get back to you on this question! HA!

And she was fabulous! My friend and I discussed all of the acts we saw (at least 20 in all!), and we mutually agreed Truvy’s performance was the one that was the most classic and old school burlesque, and oozed class. Check out the performance for yourself below!

Check out more about Truvy here.

A big thank you goes out to Truvy for being gracious enough to respond and being a great sport for helping to highlight burlesque on this blog. The best of luck to you, keep doing what you do! Thanks again πŸ™‚

The 10th Annual New York Burlesque Festival: The Teaser Party – Part Two

Here we are, the final installment of my coverage of the Teaser Party of the 10th Annual New York Burlesque Festival! I took so many pictures and videos that I did not want to pollute an entire post with it and cause it to take forever for you to see. So let’s get started!

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This next girl had an awesome Theda Bara type costume – it was cool and spooky at the same time.

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Here is the video of her performance…

This next girl had an ode to her home country, France…

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This next girl had a very cool gothic bird type dance. Her performance is below!

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This next girl – she had quite the umm, rare talent for tassels. You’ll see below!

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See! And she made those things twirl in opposite directions, and could make them stop on the drop of a dime and just make one twirl. Now that’s talent! LOL.

This next girl is straight out of Milan, and as a result had a totally Italian-themed performance.

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This next performer is a man – yes, guys can be burlesque performers! They call it “boy-lesque” πŸ™‚ He had quite a funny skit, and definitely was extreme! I think the men have to work a little harder than the women in this area for attention and accolades. He did well, and immediately upon seeing him I saw an Errol Flynn look to him.

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This next performer had a very unique mermaid inspired performance. Towards the end she was wearing a shell-type undergarment, and as you can tell it opened right up to strings of pearls! Definitely a way to end the night!

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All in all, it was a fabulous night. Despite my foot killing me, my back hurting, and being super tired, I just couldn’t leave until it was all over. I left feeling inspired and feeling proud of my body and that – hey – maybe it ain’t that bad. After every burlesque show I feel this way! These ladies are amazing for doing what they do and showing us gals that we need to be proud of what we have, no matter what!